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Regional Updates (12/16/21)

Typhoon Rai makes several landfalls

TYPHOON Rai made another landfall over Liloan, Southern Leyte on Thursday afternoon, hours after it hit land over Dinagat Islands and Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte in southern Philippines, according to the local weather bureau.

Locally named Odette, the country’s 15th storm this year was expected to continue moving westward and might make another landfall over Southern Leyte.

The center of the tropical cyclone was also expected to cross several provinces in Central and Western Visayas before emerging over the Sulu Sea on Friday morning.

“After passing near or in the vicinity of either Cuyo or Cagayancillo archipelago, Odette is forecast to cross the northern or central portion of Palawan tomorrow afternoon or evening before emerging over the West Philippine Sea,” it said.

The storm might weaken as it crosses Visayas and Palawan, but it was forecast to remain a typhoon.

People and disaster risk reduction and management offices should take measures to protect life and property, the agency said. Persons living in hazardous areas should follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials, it added.

The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (kph) with gusts of 270 kph, the weather bureau said.

Earlier in the day, the US Navy and Air Force’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Hawaii said Typhoon Rai had become a super typhoon.

The typhoon “has undergone a period of extremely rapid intensification, which was not previously forecast and while track has not significantly changed, the intensity forecast has been increased dramatically,” it said. — Norman P. Aquino

Group opposes Zambales causeway project

A GROUP of environmentalists and fishermen has opposed a plan to build a causeway and jetty port in San Narciso, Zambales.

Ricardo Reyes, president of Save Zambales Kalikasan Movement said the causeway and jetty port project is destructive and illegal.

“The government cannot change our local economy, which is driven by tourism, fishing and agriculture with a very destructive industry such as mining,” he said in a statement on Thursday. “We will end up with no marine and forest resources and the ones benefiting from this change will be the miners.”

The causeway project, which the local government of San Felipe recently approved, is one of five infrastructure projects that will serve companies hauling lahar from Mt. Pinatubo to other parts of the country, the group said.

The causeway will reclaim the Alusiis River in San Narciso and turn it into a road network connected to the river dike road, while the private jetty port will be used by trucks hauling mudflow from the slopes of the volcano, it added.

Adonis Rellaniza, president of Bangus Fry Catchers Association of San Narciso, Zambales said the project could harm their milkfish fingerling industry. “Once the ports are here, off-shore mining will be possible and made legal. We will lose our shores, we will suffer from massive coastal erosion and our communities will be wiped out.” he said in the statement.

The Environment department and AGN Trading, which is leading the project, did not immediately reply to an e-mail and text message seeking comment. — Luisa Maria Jacinta C. Jocson

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