PH braces for strong typhoon later this week

(Editor's note: This update reflects the latest PAGASA outlook on the approaching weather system. It also corrects the location of Cagayan De Oro.)

Weather bureau PAGASA warned the public of a strong weather disturbance that may enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) and could make a landfall as a typhoon later this week.

The tropical cyclone will be named “Yolanda” once it enters the PAR.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the cyclone is over the Caroline Islands with international name ("Haiyan") was estimated at 2,170 km east of Mindanao. It is packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 120 kilometers per hour. It is forecast to move west at 25 kilometers per hour. This weather disturbance is expected to enter the Philippine Area Of Responsibility (PAR) on Thursday morning. It will not affect any part of the country within the next 36 hours.

Concerned government agencies are keeping tabs on weather disturbance. Communications Sec. Sonny Coloma said disasters officials are preparing for the storm.

"Nakatutok po diyan ang ating NDRRMC, at doon sa isang partikular na lugar na tinatayang tatama ito, gusto kong ipaalam sa inyo na 'yung east Visayas DRRMC ay nakatakdang magpulong ngayong hapon sa Leyte.. Kahit na ang forecast po ng PAGASA ay sa November 8 pa 'yung maigting na pagtama nito, pinaghahandaan na doon sa ground through the regional and provincial units of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council," Coloma said.

In Cagayan de Oro in the Mindanao region, authorities are now preparing for the coming storm as they have already learned their lessons from the deluge during Typhoon Sendong in 2011, where hundreds were killed and missing.

In a report by ABS-CBN’s Maricel Butardo, rescue groups and equipment are now on alert. They are also closely monitoring the rivers in Cagayan de Oro and Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte and the Agusan River in Butuan City.

Authorities are also on standby to implement massive evacuation in case of flooding.

The Cagayan de Oro River remains calm. The city government, however, is also planning to replicate the system in Marikina River where the level of the water is measured by the markings on the bridge to give the public a visible warning.

Meanwhile, the province of Cagayan in northern Luzon has been placed under a state of calamity due to Typhoon Vinta which wreaked havoc Thursday last week.

The damage to agriculture in the province is pegged at P38 million, including the corn and rice produce supposed to be harvested this month that were destroyed.

Around 80% of the province still suffers from power outage.

Aside from Cagayan, the towns of Pudtol, Santa Marcela, Luna, and Flora in Apayao have also been placed under a state of calamity.

The previously tropical depression “Wilma,” which is now a low pressure area was last spotted at 190 kilometers northeast of Puerto Princesa embedded along the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ). It will still bring moderate to heavy rains to Palawan and nearby provinces.
Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and parts of Southern Tagalog region will also experience cloudy to rainy skies. Light to moderate rains are expected over Bicol and the Visayas.

Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon and Mindanao will also have cloudy skies with just some isolated rains.

READ MORE: Classes in Bohol suspended anew due to 'Wilma'

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