Chedeng weakens, now a low pressure area

MANILA, Philippines – The weather system named Chedeng (Maysak) has further weakened and is now low pressure area (LPA), state weather bureau PAGASA said on Sunday, April 5.

In its 5 pm bulletin, the weather agency said the LPA was located 60 km southeast of Laoag City or in the vicinity of Kabugao, Apayao.

All public storm warning signals have been lifted, but PAGASA said light to moderate rains are still expected over Northern and Central Luzon.

Fishermen and those operating small sea vessels are warned against moderate to rough sea conditions over the seaboards of Northern Luzon.

The government's disaster management chief had said that the weakening of the storm earlier categorized as a super typhoon by foreign weather agencies was "short of a miracle."

"What happened is short of a miracle. From a super typhoon, it became a tropical depression. We're not ruling out an intervention," said National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) chief Alexander Pama.

Chedeng hit land 8 am Sunday morning in Dinapigue, Isabela, but was expected to weaken into a low pressure area.

Evacuees start going home

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said hundreds of people who were pre-emptively evacuated to escape the path of the storm have now started to return home.

The government had evacuated more than 25,000 people from coastal villages in the northeast side of Luzon to get away from the storm surges that Chedeng was expected to bring.

The DSWD Field Office II in Cagayan Valley reported that evacuees have started to return home.

The evacuation centers in Maconacon, Isabela have been closed by noon. The 176 families in Dinapigue, Isabela who evacuated in anticipation of the storm are also returning to their homes.

The social welfare department's field office in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) said Chedeng did not cause any damage in the region.

However, the DSWD said it will continue to monitor the situation of areas affected by Chedeng and will be ready to help local government units if needed. –