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Juaning wreaking havoc on CAMSUR, Albay

NAGA CITY Philippines (July 26, 2011 8:00 P.M.) – Tropical Storm Juaning is not expected to make a landfall in the Bikol region but the abnormally high rainfall it brings is wreaking havoc on the provinces of Camarines Sur and Albay.

Tropical Storm Juaning intensifying from a tropical depression to a storm early Tuesday morning (July 26) flooded national highways, rice field areas and low lying villages in the towns of Nabua, Bato, Bula, Buhi, Baao, Presentacion, and Balatan, prompting Camarines Sur Governor Luis Raymund Villafuerte to order forced evacuation of affected communities in the 5th district of the province.

Camarines Sur, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) coordinator “Che” Bermeo said that on on Monday evening rescue teams led by Philippine Army units have rescued a certain De la Torre family from rising flood waters near the SMART Tower at barangays San Nicolas and San Miguel where flood waters have submerged houses up to roof-tops.

Bermeo also reported, that rescue operations went on until morning of Tuesday in the localities of Bula and Balatan towns. PDRRMC workers also reported that the Maharlika Highway along Iriga City and Nabua was flooded waist-deep, impassable to jeepney and buses bound for Albay province since Monday evening.

PAGASA Regional Director Jun Dalida said over radio broadcast from Legazpi City that 24-hour rains brought by “Juaning” in Camarine Sur and Albay was estimated at 295 millimeters, way above the normal 279 millimeters of rainfall in a month.

The regional chief said the massive rainfall since Monday caused swelling of Bicol river arteries along Camaligan, Milaor, Minalabac, and San Fernando. This also caused water levels to rise in the 5th district of Camarines Sur and adjoining Albay towns.

PAGASA also reported waist-deep floods in Albay towns of Ligao, Polangui and Guinobatan, affecting the national highways and majority of villages in the said towns.

In Albay, 6 trucks, undetermined number of light vehicles, 6 watercrafts have been stranded in the port of Tabaco, Albay since Monday. Stranded passengers continued to flock in Matnog and Pilar, Sorsogon.

In barangay Duran, Balatan, Camarines Sur local residents reported Tuesday that cargo vessel MV Concepcion was swept ashore by giant waves, marooning the cargo vessel about 15 meters inland in the said coastal village. A local resident here gave food and shelter to 17 crew-members of the ship.

Boat captain Joebert Nepomuceno said that the ship had engine trouble after they left Pasacao Port to unload sugar cargo from Bacolod and was swept by big waves to the coastlines of Balatan.

Tropical Storm Juaning has started moving very slowly - Westward away from the Northern Coast of Camarines Sur and will pass along the northern coastal areas of Camarines Norte tonight.

This storm has changed its forecast track and now threatens Central Luzon including Metro Manila. Its inner bands continues to dump occasional rains with strong gusty winds along the Bicol Region and Quezon Provinces.

At 5:30 PM today, Typhoon2000 Automated Weather Station in Naga City recorded wind gust of 46.7 kilometers per hour blowing from the West, with barometric pressure of 995.3 millibars and 42-hr. Rainfall Accumulation of 240 mm. (SONNY SALES)