'Domeng' may pass near Metro Manila, JTWC says

by Jojo Malig, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Apr 09 2014 12:38 AM | Updated as of Apr 10 2014 12:32 AM

Storm surges may hit coastal areas in Domeng's path

MANILA - Tropical Depression Domeng (international name Peipah) may pass near Metro Manila, according to the latest forecast of the US Navy and Air Force's Joint Typhoon Watch Center (JTWC).

The Hawaii-based JTWC, in its tracking of the cyclone's projected path, showed Domeng veering further northwest and into the Southern Tagalog region and possibly Metro Manila after hitting the Visayas.

The JTWC, however, said Domeng moved erratically in the past 12 hours and may change direction again.

"Due to the uncertainty in the initial position as well as major track and track speed differences among the dynamic models, there is low confidence in the JTWC track forecast," it said.

It expects the storm to strengthen before making landfall before weakening and even dissipating as it moves across the central Philippines.

The tropical depression maintained its strength on Tuesday as it continued to move toward eastern Visayas, state weather bureau PAGASA said.

In its latest advisory issued 11 p.m. Tuesday, PAGASA said the tropical cyclone was last spotted 410 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

Domeng is currently packing maximum winds of 55 kilometers per hour.

It has estimated rainfall amount of between 5 to 15 mm per hour (moderate - heavy) within its 400-kilometer diameter.

It is forecast to be 340 km east northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur by Wednesday night, PAGASA said.

The weather bureau earlier said Domeng could make landfall somehere in the Surigao provinces on Thursday.

Storm surge threat

The Department of Science and Technology's Project NOAH on Tuesday night updated its list of coastal areas that could experience storm surges because of the tropical depression.

In an earlier interview on ANC, Project NOAH Executive Director Dr. Mahar Lagmay said the storm surges that could be generated by Domeng will be nothing compared to those experienced during the onslaught of super typhoon "Yolanda."

"The level of storm surge is at one meter, the level just above your hip, near the coastlines indicated on the list," he said.

Lagmay said people living near coasts should exercise caution as 'Domeng' continues on its path.

"Don't swim, don't play along the coast. Kung may mga resort or restaurant near the coast, there is no need to evacuate yet, just exercise caution," he said.

Flood threat

Kristina Pydynowski, a senior meteorologist at accuweather.com, said on Tuesday that although Domeng's winds have weakened, widespread flooding remains a threat because of the rains carried by the tropical cyclone.

She said Domeng's slow movement "will lead to several days of locally heavy rainfall."

"Worsening the situation is the concern that Peipah will then stall in the vicinity of eastern Visayas into the weekend. Flooding will become a more widespread problem if this occurs as torrential rain will continue for several days across more of the Philippines. Mudslides may ensue in the higher terrain," she said.

AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Anthony Sagliani also said rainfall in some locations will approach 200 mm (8 inches) with an average of 25 to 75 mm (1 to 3 inches) being the most common.