MANILA, 7Nov2013 (PNA) – Typhoon “Yolanda”, the 24th cyclone to enter the country this year, has intensified further and continues to move west nortwest towards Eastern Visayas, the state weather bureau said on Thursday.
In a interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Joey Figuracion said that as of 6:00 a.m., the eye of Typhoon “Yolanda” was located based on all available data at 767 km east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur (8.6°N, 133.3°E ) packed with maximum sustained winds of 215 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 250 kph.
Figuracion said since Yolanda exceeded its wind strength from 185 kph, he noted the agency will raise the signal no. 4 as the typhoon continues to move closer to the landmass.
He said that under Signal no. 4, winds may bring extensive damage to coconut plantation, houses and buildings, uproot many large trees and cut power lines.
He advised residents in areas that may be affected to be prepared for flash floods and landslides.
Figuracion said Yolanda is forecast to move west northwest at 30 kph.
If does not change its track and speed, he noted that based on their numerical models, Yolanda is expected to make landfall on Friday morning either in Samar, Leyte, Biliran, Masbate or Mindoro.
He added that eight provinces in Visayas and Mindanao are under public storm warning signal no. 2 while 30 provinces are under signal no.1
He said the areas placed under public storm warning signal no. 2 (61-100 kph winds) are Eastern Samar, Samar, Southern Leyte, Surigao Del Norte, Siargao Island, Dinagat Island, Northern part of Surigao del Sur, and Northern part of Agusan del Norte.
Public storm warning signal no. 1 (30-60 kph winds), on the other hand, was hoisted over Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Ticao Island, Burias Island, Masbate, Romblon, Marinduque, Southern Quezon from Luzon, while in Visayas were Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo, Antique, Guimaras, Negros Occidental and Oriental, Cebu, Camotes Island, Bohol, Siquijor, Leyte, Biliran Island and Northern Samar, while in Mindanao were Camaguin, Misamis Oriental, Rest of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and the rest of Surigao del Sur.
“Residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under signals 2 & 1 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides,” PAGASA said.
PAGASA said Yolanda may bring rainfall of 10.0 – 30.0 mm per hour (Heavy – Intense) within its 600-km radius.
The weather agency said that sea travel is risky over the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon and Eastern Visayas.
For Wednesday forecast, Figuracion said that due to the northeast monsoon affecting Northern Luzon, the regions of Cagayan Valley, Cordillera and Ilocos will be partly cloudy to cloudy with light rains while Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.
He added the Bicol Region, Visayas and Mindanao will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms.
Yolanda is expected to be at 240 km east southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar by Friday morning.
It is forecast to be at the vicinity of Romblon Island by Saturday morning and by Sunday morning it is forecast to be at 740 km west northwest of Coron, Palawan.
PAGASA also issued a gale warning as strong to gale-force winds associated with northeast monsoon is expected to affect northern and eastern seaboards of Northern Luzon and eastern seaboard of Central Luzon.
“Fishing boats and other small sea crafts are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves,” it said. (PNA)