Around 36,000 evacuated in Cagayan province due to 'Ompong'

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15) — Around 36,000 people have been evacuated in the province of Cagayan, hours after Typhoon Ompong made landfall in the region.

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba told CNN Philippines rainfall has been non-stop in the province for more than seven hours. He added they have lost contact with officials in Baggao town, where Ompong first hit due to intermittent mobile signals.

"We have a total of 36,000 evacuees after our record, and I am advising them now to stay put in our evacuation," Mamba said.

The strong winds at 300 kilometers per hour have toppled over signages and trees, and torn off roofs of establishments in some parts of the region.

Local government units had also advised residents not to go outdoor due to these winds.

"Hanggang ngayon po ay hindi pa safe na lumabas sa (Until now, it's still not safe to go outside) Tuguegarao City," he added.

Baggao is 30 to 40 kilometers away from the provincial capital, but the coastal communities are 60 to 70 kilometers away. Weather officials have earlier warned of storm surges to reach as high as a two-storey building near shoreline communities, including those beside Cagayan River.

 

In the latest National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council briefing, Transportation Secretary Art Tugade said the Tuguegarao airport is closed due to the typhoon's effects.

Cagayan Province, which is along the storm's path before exiting the country Saturday evening or Sunday morning, is home to 1,199,320 people.