Super typhoon Juan makes landfall in Sierra Madre—Pagasa
MANILA, Philippines—Super typhoon Juan made landfall in the Sierra Madre mountains at 11:25 a.m. on Monday, the country’s weather bureau said.
The storm has been carrying maximum winds of 225 kilometers per hour, with gusts of 260 kph, according to the latest bulletins of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration. It has been slowing down, and was earlier seen tracking west southwest at 17 kph.
The typhoon was expected to pass through Isabela, Mountain Province, and Ilocos Sur and exit at about 2 a.m. Tuesday.
In its 11 a.m. press conference, Pagasa weather specialist Vicente Manalo said the super typhoon appeared to be a "well-behaved tropical cyclone" as it seemed to follow the usual course of typhoons that entered the Philippines during the month of October.
‘Juan’ slows down, may stay longer in RP—Pagasa
By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 07:07:00 10/18/2010
Filed Under: Weather, Disasters (general)
MANILA, Philippines—(UPDATE) Typhoon Juan (international code name: Megi) has slowed down to 19 kilometers per hour from Sunday night's 20 kph as its fringes touched the east coast of northern Luzon Monday morning, the weather bureau said.
As of 7 a.m., the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Juan, a super typhoon, was seen 170 km east of Tuguegarao. It was moving west southwest at 19 kph and was expected to make landfall in northern Isabela before noon.
The typhoon packed maximum winds of 225 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 260 kph.
On Sunday night, Pagasa officials said they were worried that the storm would slow down. According to Pagasa officer-in-charge Graciano Yumul Jr., a slowdown in speed means the typhoon, which is estimated to carry as much rain as the deadly storm Ondoy in last year, would stay longer over the Philippines.
Signal number 4, the highest alert in Pagasa’s scale, has been raised in Cagayan, Isabela, Kalinga, Mt. Province, and Ifugao.
Signal number 3 was hoisted over Batanes, the Calayan and Babuyan Groups of Islands, Apayao, Benguet, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, and the northern part of Aurora.
Signal number 2 was declared in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, rest of Aurora, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and Polillio Island.
Metro Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Northern Quezon, Rizal, Laguna, and Batangas are under signal number 1.
Metro Manila, south Luzon now within range of ‘Juan’
Super-typhoon changes track in past six hours
By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 11:04:00 10/17/2010
Filed Under: Weather, Disasters (general)
MANILA, Philippines— (UPDATE 4) Typhoon Juan (international name: Megi) has moved slightly downward, putting Metro Manila and parts of southern Luzon on its range, the state weather bureau said.
In an 11 pm advisory on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) placed Metro Manila and nearby provinces on public storm warning signal number 1 after the typhoon changed its track in the past six hours.
Juan, a super-typhoon with maximum sustained winds of 225 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 260 kph, was now moving west southwest at 20 kph, slightly slower than the 22 kph issued in the 5 pm forecast. As of 10 pm, the typhoon was 290 km east northeast of Tuguegarao, Cagayan.
PAGASA official-in-charge Graciano Yumul Jr. said Metro Manila and other parts of southern Luzon will experience rains as it was now within the typhoon's rain band.
"Just because it's signal number one, it doesn't mean that we should not be prepared. Manila was only under signal number one during Ondoy," Yumul said, referring to last year's storm that flooded 80 percent of the metropolis.
Under Department of Education standards, elementary classes in Metro Manila and other areas under signal number 1 are suspended, Yumul said.
Aside from Metro Manila, Signal number 1 was placed over Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Polillio Island, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, northern Quezon and Rizal.
Signal number 2 was declared over Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, Benguet, and parts of Aurora.
The following provinces were placed under Signal number 3: Batanes, Calayan Group of Islands, Babuyan Group of Islands, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, and northern Aurora.
Cagayan and Isabela remained under signal number 4, the ultimate public storm warning signal used by the PAGASA.
Super-typhoon hits North
Gov’t evacuates folk in Cagayan, Isabela
By Kristine L. Alave, Edwin Bacasmas
Inquirer Northern Luzon, Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 01:33:00 10/18/2010
Filed Under: Weather, Emergency Planning, Disasters (general)
MANILA, Philippines—Authorities on Sunday began evacuating thousands of villagers in vulnerable areas hours before Super-typhoon “Juan” was to hit northern Luzon.
Packing winds of 260 kilometers per hour, Juan (international code name: Megi) was expected to make landfall in Cagayan province by 8 a.m. Monday and exit Ilocos Norte in the afternoon.
With Juan intensifying into a super-typhoon, the weather bureau hoisted Signal No. 4 over Cagayan and Isabela at 6 p.m. instead of 11 p.m.
Signal No. 4 is the highest warning signal used by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
PAGASA said the last time the country declared Signal No. 4 was in 2006, when “Reming” battered the Bicol region. Reming had gusts of 320 kph.
As of 4 p.m. on Sunday, Juan was spotted 390 km east of Aparri, moving westward at 22 kph, PAGASA said. The super-typhoon had sustained winds of 225 kph and gusts of 260 kph.
But in its 11 p.m. advisory on Sunday, PAGASA placed Metro Manila and nearby provinces on Signal No. 1 after the super-typhoon changed its track in the past six hours.
Juan was now moving west southwest at 20 kph, slightly slower than the 22 kph issued in the 5 p.m. forecast. As of 10 p.m., the super-typhoon was 290 km east northeast of Tuguegarao, Cagayan.
PAGASA officer in charge Graciano Yumul Jr. said Metro Manila and other parts of southern Luzon will experience rains as it was now within the typhoon's rain band.
"Just because it's Signal No. 1, it doesn't mean that we should not be prepared. Manila was only under Signal No. 1 during (Tropical Storm) ‘Ondoy’" Yumul said, referring to last year's storm (international name: Ketsana) that flooded 80 percent of the metropolis.
Under Department of Education standards, elementary classes in Metro Manila and other areas under Signal No. 1 are suspended, Yumul said.
Aside from Metro Manila, Signal No. 1 was placed over Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Polillio Island, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Rizal and northern Quezon.
The super-typhoon could uproot trees, blow away houses made of light material, damage power lines and communication services, trigger landslides and cause storm surges.
Not only did the typhoon’s wind speed and strength intensify, its radius also grew from 300 km to 350 km, said Robert Sawi, the chief forecaster at PAGASA.
Sawi said Juan’s rainfall was expected at 20 millimeters per hour, about half the volume dumped by Ondoy.
Officials said the rainfall amount was a conservative estimate, noting that the data came from the fringes of Juan.
Juan is the 10th and strongest storm to hit the country this year. The country is battered by an average of 20 storms a year.
Juan intensified into a super-typhoon with winds of over 215 kph as it approached the coast of Cagayan Sunday, PAGASA said.
PAGASA’s Yumul said Juan would further intensify based on models used by the agency and the forecasts of other weather agencies.
“Those that will bear its brunt are northern Luzon and central Luzon,” Yumul said.
Signal No. 3 was raised over Batanes, Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya and northern Aurora.
Signal No. 2 was hoisted over Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, Benguet and the rest of Aurora.
At least 700 people moved out of their homes to safer ground on Saturday in mountainous Isabela province, said Benito Ramos, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
In nearby Cagayan, authorities have ordered villagers to move out of high-risk neighborhoods in 12 coastal towns.
“If nobody will budge, we may carry out forced evacuations,” said Bonifacio Cuarteros of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
Farmers have been warned to harvest as much of their crops as possible before Juan hits or risk losses, Cuarteros said.
President Benigno Aquino III ordered all government agencies to be on high alert to prevent any casualties, while the Coast Guard was instructed to ban all fishing vessels from setting off to sea in the north.
Thousands of military reserve officers and volunteers were on stand by, along with helicopters, including six Chinooks that were committed by US troops holding war exercises with Filipino soldiers near Manila, Ramos said.
Rescue boats and thousands of food packs have been prepositioned near vulnerable areas, he said, adding that schools along the typhoon’s path would be closed.
“This is like preparing for war,” Ramos, a retired Army general, said. “We know the past lessons and we’re aiming for zero casualties.”
An angry Mr. Aquino fired the head of the weather bureau in July for failing to predict that a typhoon would hit Manila. More than 100 people were killed in Manila and outlying provinces by that storm.
The President will preside over a command conference of the NDRRMC in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City at 9 a.m. on Monday, his spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Sunday night.
In Aparri, Cagayan, residents of a coastal settlement were worried that local officials still had not given any safety instructions to them as of 6 p.m. Sunday.
Journalists and photographers stationed in Cagayan witnessed how the residents of Barangay Maura living near the sea made various attempts to fortify their houses.
As early as 2 p.m. Sunday, the skies over Aparri were dark gray and the sun was not visible for the rest of the afternoon.
Fishermen helped each other push their boats to safer areas and many residents waiting for Juan killed time watching the waves slam on the beach.
Several mothers raised fears that water from the sea might enter their houses, or worse sweep them away.
Calm before storm
Hours earlier, residents of northern Luzon woke up to a sunny morning amid preparations by local governments and disaster-response officials for what was touted to be the strongest typhoon to hit the country since January.
The weather was so good that some candidates for the Oct. 25 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in the provinces of Ilocos Norte and Benguet found time to campaign, finding the typhoon a convenient excuse to engage their neighbors and push their bids.
But it was the proverbial calm before the storm. By mid-afternoon, reports reaching the Philippine Daily Inquirer showed that strong winds started to be felt in northern Cagayan as strong rains fell.
Norma Talosig, Office of Civil Defense director in Cagayan Valley, said her office had issued repeated warnings to residents in coastal towns and flood-prone villages to stay on alert and prioritize their safety.
“I have this warning to villagers—do not wait until tomorrow to evacuate as the typhoon’s radius is very wide ... So far, [there were no reports of] forced evacuation,” Talosig said in a text message sent at about 4 p.m. Sunday.
At least four evacuation centers in Gonzaga and Santa Ana towns in Cagayan have been readied for residents of coastal areas as officials started preemptive evacuation there.
Edna Junio, provincial social welfare and development officer, said local government and rescue teams had assisted residents living near rivers and coastlines transfer to evacuation centers.
A statement from the NDRRMC said evacuation of residents had started in Aparri, Buguey, and Ballesteros towns, also in Cagayan.
The Isabela provincial government has formed a 24-hour emergency response team manned by personnel from the Department of Social Welfare and Development and trained rescue personnel.
Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy III ordered the delivery of relief goods to various towns on Saturday and Sunday, taking advantage of the good weather.
The Laoag City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council started mobilizing quick response teams in preparation for the typhoon.
Sirens at the Laoag City Hall were also sounded each time the weather bureau raised storm signals.
In the Cordillera Administrative Region, a warm Sunday greeted Baguio and Benguet barangay candidates, who included tips about storm preparation in their campaign spiels.
Mayor Gregorio Abalos Jr. of La Trinidad, Benguet, met with local rescue officials about the condition of houses in Barangay Puguis, where a landslide triggered by last year’s Typhoon “Pepeng” (Parma) wiped out a section of the community of Little Kibungan.
In Nueva Ecija province, a sunny day frustrated farmers as they eagerly awaited rains from Juan that would feed their rice farms.
Virgilio Santaygillo, 48, a farmer from Barangay Cabu in Cabanatuan City, said news about possible heavy rains had given him hope that he could save his already wilting palay (unmilled rice).
“We fear excessive rains but we pray for water [for our crops],” he said.
Nathaniel Servando, PAGASA administrator, said Juan might not be the last destructive typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2010, a La Niña year. With reports from Christine Avendaño in Manila; Villamor Visaya Jr., Cristina Arzadon, Vincent Cabreza and Maurice Malanes, Inquirer Northern Luzon; Armand Galang, Inquirer Central Luzon; and Reuters
Over 100,000 evacuated in rain-lashed Hainan—state media
First Posted 07:02:00 10/18/2010
Filed Under: Weather
BEIJING—More than 100,000 people have been evacuated after rains hammered the Chinese island of Hainan causing major floods for the second time this month, according to Xinhua news agency on Monday.
Around 200 villages have been inundated after 200 millimeters (eight inches) of rain lashed the island between Friday and Sunday, Sun Wei, deputy director of disaster relief and public services department, told Xinhua.
The new barrage of rains compounded Hainan's misery after floods ravaged the southern Chinese province earlier in the month.
More than 440,000 people were evacuated after the heaviest rains for decades inundated 90 percent of Hainan, damaging roads, schools and infrastructure.
Local rivers continue to flow well over their flood warning marks and over 70 percent of the island's reservoirs are dangerously full.
Hainan is bracing for more heavy rain as super typhoon Megi is expected to sweep through the region by the end of the week.