Cagayan evacuates residents as 'Betty' moves closer to land

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — The provincial government of Cagayan has preemptively evacuated more than 400 residents as Typhoon Betty (international name: Mawar) barrels its way near the waters of northern Luzon.

Around 486 residents or 140 families in three towns have been evacuated, the provincial information office said in a Facebook post on Monday afternoon.

As of noon, 371 individuals or 104 families from five barangays were moved to safer areas in anticipation of the typhoon's effects.

Quoting Gonzaga's disaster management head, the Cagayan PIO said the families evacuated were residing near the shoreline, while others were members of the Agta indigenous group living in landslide-prone areas.

Some 111 people or 34 families from Calayan and four individuals from Santa Ana were also evacuated.

Santa Ana and Gonzaga were placed under Signal No. 2 on Monday.

Betty was last seen 470 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan, or 475 kilometers east of Calayan, Cagayan, and had slightly slowed down, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its latest bulletin.

It is still on track to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Friday.

The storm has also been enhancing the southwest monsoon or habagat — the weather system that would bring winds and rains over the western portion of Luzon and the Visayas.

Latest data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council showed 4,831 individuals have been preemptively evacuated, excluding Cagayan’s count. Of the total, 4,010 were from Negros Occidental, Antique, and Capiz in Western Visayas; 786 from Palawan in Mimaropa; and the rest from Angeles City, Pampanga and Aurora in Central Luzon.