By Christopher Lloyd T. Caliwan
MANILA (2-Dec-2012/PNA) – Typhoon “Pablo” (international name: Bopha) entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Sunday evening, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
PAGASA said that as of 6 p.m. Sunday typhoon “Pablo” was located some 900 km Southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur (6.4°N, 135.0°E) with maximum sustained winds of 185 kms per hour (kph) with gustiness of up to 220 kph.
PAGASA administrator Nathaniel Servando said that the typhoon is expected to further intensify before it makes landfall on Tuesday “over the northeastern part of Mindanao, probably in Surigao City.”
Servando noted that “Pablo’s” winds strength could even go as high as 210 kph, which is equivalent to the strength of a “super typhoon” based on the classification of the US meteorologists.
Servando said that because of the wide diameter of the typhoon, it is expected to bring rains not just over in Mindanao and Visayas, but also in Southern Luzon including Metro Manila.
He said that the typhoon was expected to bring about 20 to 30 millimeters of rains per hour within the 700-km diameter, which is classified as “heavy to intense.”
Servando said that rains from the cyclone would likely be felt in parts of Luzon as well as in Metro Manila either Wednesday or Thursday as it started to pass near these areas going towards Palawan.
He also expected that the typhoon would weaken after making a landfall.
However, he noted that it will not dissipate and will only move towards Palawan then exit towards the West Philippine Sea.
Servando advised the affected residents to prepare for the typhoon as they expect it to be much stronger than tropical storm “Sendong,” which caused massive devastation in Mindanao on Dec. 17 last year.
Servando said that Sendong had sustained winds of only 100 kph upon entering the country, while Pablo was already packing maximum sustained winds of 185 kph before it enters the PAR.
He added that Sendong had a diameter of 500 to 600 km, while Pablo’s diameter already spanned to 700 km.
“Mas malakas ang hangin ni Pablo compared kay Sendong at mas maraming maapektuhan sa dalang ulan nito dahil mas malawak ang rain bands nito. At posibleng mas lumakas pa ito sa mga susunod na oras o hangga’t hindi nagla-landfall dahil nasa dagat pa ito,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has prepositioned relief goods and medicines, the Coast Guard has alerted operators of boats to stay away from the country’s southeastern and eastern sections. (PNA)