MANILA, Philippines – About 10,000 tourists in resorts along the Baler Bay are advised to leave as early as Friday, April 3, to avoid Typhoon Chedeng (Maysak), which is expected to hit land on Saturday evening, April 4.
"If they can reconsider getting out of that place as early as tomorrow before the typhoon hits them, that will be the most desirable action," Department of the Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Austere Panadero said in a news briefing Thursday, April 2.
According to National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Alexander Pama, local government units have accounted for about 10,000 tourists in Baler Bay. (READ: Holy Week travelers told: Adjust to Typhoon Maysak)
The typhoon, which has maximum sustained winds of 175 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 210 km/h as of Thursday morning, will make landfall over the eastern coast of Aurora or Isabela by late Saturday evening, April 4, to early Sunday morning, April 5.
PAGASA warned of possible storm surges of up to 4 meters over the eastern coast of Samar, Bicol, and Aurora-Quezon.
"Meron po tayong historical data na ang storm surge-prone over Aurora is ito pong Baler Bay," PAGASA weather division chief Esperanza Cayanan said on Thursday.
(We have historical data that the storm surge-prone area over Aurora is Baler Bay.)
Cayanan warned tourists against surfing, especially in Baler – a popular destination for surfing and other beach activities.
Panadero said local government officials are going to each and every resort that may by affected by Chedeng – especially those in Baler Bay and the coast of Isabela.
"Kung andun sila at hindi na pwedeng magbago ang kanilang plano, kaukulang paghahanda ang dapat gawin ng resort owners, travel agencies, tourists groups, [at] local governments," he added.
(If tourists are already there and they can't change their plans, the necessary preparations must be done by resort owners, travel agencies, tourists groups, and local governments.)
Raymund Liboro of the Department of Science and Technology said the risk exposure is higher during holidays like Holy Week, when many Filipinos are traveling.
"We’re really taking into consideration na itong mga panahong ito mas mataas ang exposure dahil ang mga tao nasa mga lugar na hindi karaniwang pinupuntahan. Yung mga dating hindi namamangka, namamangka, yung dating hindi umaakyat ng bundok, umaakyat ng bundok," he added.
(We're really taking into consideration that during this time there is higher exposure because people go to places they usually don't frequent. Those who don't usually ride boats and climb mountains do so.)
PAGASA will issue the next Chedeng bulletin at 11 pm Thursday. – Rappler.com
Jee is part of Rappler's Central Desk, handling most of the world, science, and environment stories on the site. She enjoys listening to podcasts and K-pop, watching Asian dramas, and running long distances. She hopes to visit Israel someday to retrace the steps of her Savior.