Typhoon to enter Philippines tonight

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Sunday, December 2, 2012


MANILA (Updated 1:03 p.m.) – Typhoon Bopha (international name) continues to intensify as it is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) Sunday evening, the state weather bureau said.

Bopha was spotted at 1,110 kilometers (km) east southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur at 11 a.m. Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

Once it enters the PAR, Bopha will be named Pablo, the first tropical cyclone in December and the 16th weather disturbance to enter the country this year.

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In Pagasa’s weather bulletin, the tropical cyclone has maximum sustained winds of up to 185 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 220 kph.

Bopha is expected to be at 660 km east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur by Monday morning. By Tuesday morning, it will be at 140 km east northeast of Hinatuan or 230 km east southeast of Surigao City and at 60 km north of Dumaguete City by Wednesday morning.

However, Pagasa added in its bulletin that the typhoon is still far to directly affect any part of the country.

In a press conference Sunday morning, National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) head Benito Ramos said that the path of the typhoon is still not certain, adding that there is a possibility that the typhoon will change course.

But he said that people should not be complacent and pray that this will not be a repeat of Tropical Storm Sendong that devastated parts of Mindanao last year.

For his part, Dr. Nathaniel Sarvando of Pagasa said there is a possibility that the typhoon will maintain its intensity due to the existing trade wind Amihan.

He added that Metro Manila and Luzon is also expected to be affected when the typhoon makes landfall on Tuesday or Wednesday in parts of the eastern seaboard and Northern Mindanao.

“Pablo is still expected to intensify in the coming days,” Salvado said. Salvado added that MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino is already making precautionary measures in Metro Manila. As of this posting Sunday, no public storm signals have been raised.

Meanwhile, in Cagayan de Oro City, authorities are looking at evacuating at least 15,000 families living in critical areas along the Cagayan de Oro River ahead of the typhoon, the strongest storm feared to hit the Philippines this year.

Engineer Armen Cuenca, assistant disaster officer, said the evacuation may start on Sunday night or early Monday when the Pagasa expects the storm to make landfall somewhere in Bohol in the Visayas.

Cuenca said the local government might resort to force evacuation if Pagasa hoists a red alert over Cagayan de Oro on Monday.

“We do not want a repetition of Sendong. This time we aim to have a zero casualty rate,” Cuenca said Saturday. (Sunnex)

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