(UPDATED) The Bicol region, which was pummeled by two typhoons within a week of each other, is again under threat from another storm.
Tropical Storm Ulysses (Vamco), which has intensified into a severe tropical storm as of 8 p.m. Tuesday, November 10, 2020, will be the third tropical cyclone to hit Bicol in just three weeks, after Typhoon Quinta (Molave) on October 25 and Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni) on November 1.
State weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said moderate to heavy rains associated with the rainbands of “Ulysses” will begin affecting Bicol and portions of Eastern Visayas on Wednesday, November 11.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, it was spotted at 425 kilometers east of Daet, Camarines Norte. It has accelerated and was moving west northwestward at 30 kilometers per hour (kph) compared to a speed of only 15 kph about three hours earlier.
It has further intensified and was packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 115 kph. Pagasa said "Ulysses" will intensify into a typhoon by Wednesday morning.
It was initially forecast to reach its peak intensity of 130 to 155 kph by Wednesday afternoon or evening.
Pagasa said it will turn westward, its track close to Catanduanes and Camarines Norte, on Wednesday.
It was forecast to make landfall over Quezon on Thursday, November 12.
“However, slight southward shift in the orientation of the track forecast shows an increasing likelihood of landfall over Bicol region tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon or evening,” Pagasa said.
Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) number 2 (61-120 kph winds prevailing or expected in 24 hours) was hoisted over the following areas: Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Albay, Camarines Sur, and the eastern portion of Camarines Norte (San Vicente, Talisay, Daet, San Lorenzo Ruiz, Basud, Mercedes.
Under TCWS no. 1 (30-60 kph winds prevailing or expected in 36 hours) are the following:
Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, the eastern portion of Pangasinan (San Nicolas, Natividad, San Quintin, Umingan, Balungao, Rosales, Santa Maria, Tayug, Asingan, San Manuel), Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pamapanga, Bulacan, the central and southern portions of Zambales (Masinloc, Palauig, Iba, Botolan, Cabangan, San Felipe, San Narciso, San Marcelino, Castillejos, Subic, Olongapo City, San Antonio) , Bataan, Quezon including Polillo Islands, Metro Manila, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, the rest of Camarines Norte, Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands, Marinduque, Romblon, Oriental Mindoro, and Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island
Northern Samar, northern portion of Samar (Santo Nino, Almagro, Tagapul-An, Tarangnan, Calbayog City
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) earlier alerted concerned agencies to cascade warnings to the communities.
In Catanduanes, over 2,000 families have been preemptively evacuated.
Local authorities said they don’t have enough evacuation centers in the province because some were damaged by Typhoon Rolly.
The NDRRMC said over 26,000 houses were destroyed by Typhoon Rolly. Majority were in Bicol.
A total of 484,427 families or 1,878 persons were affected by Rolly in Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas and National Capital Region.
Over P12 billion worth of infrastructure and P4 billion worth of agriculture were damaged by the typhoon.
Meanwhile, Quezon Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head Melchor Avenilla Jr. said the provincial government held a meeting on Tuesday morning with concerned agencies and discussed their preparation for Ulysses.
He said they have already prepositioned the relief goods for those who will be displaced. (SunStar Philippines)