Signal no. 2 in Eastern Samar, Leyte on Christmas Day

By Dharel Placido,

Posted at Dec 25 2012 10:28 AM | Updated as of Dec 26 2012 01:54 AM

MTSAT ENHANCED-IR Satellite Image as of 11:30 a.m., 25 December 2012

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – Sixteen areas in the Visayas and Mindanao have been placed under public storm warning signal numbers 1 and 2 as tropical cyclone "Quinta" intensified into a storm.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said signal no. 2 has been hoisted over Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Dinagat Islands and Siargao Island.

Signal no. 1, on the other hand, has been hoisted over Northern Samar, Western Samar, Biliran, Bohol, Cebu, Camotes Island, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan Provinces, Misamis Oriental and Camiguin.

Areas under signal nos. 1 and 2 should expect winds of 30 – 60 kilometers per hour (kph) and 61 – 100 kph, respectively.

As of 10 a.m., Quinta was spotted 260 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. It was packing maximum winds of 65 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 80 kph.

Quinta was moving west at 19 kph. With this speed and direction, the storm is expected to be within the vicinity of Leyte on Wednesday morning.

PAGASA forecaster Alvin Pura told that the storm, based on current numerical models, will spare Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental, the two provinces heavily battered by Typhoon Pablo.

Pura said the eye of the storm was moving towards Eastern Visayas. However, with the storm expected to hover over the southern portion of the Philippines, light rains are still expected over the two provinces still reeling from Pablo's devastation.

Estimated rainfall amount is 10 - 20 millimeters per hour (moderate - heavy) within the storm's 350-km diameter.

Residents living in low lying and mountainous areas under signal nos. 1 and 2 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides.

Fishing boats and other sea crafts are also advised not to venture into the seaboards of Luzon and the eastern seaboard of Visayas and Mindanao due to strong waves brought about by the combined effects of Quinta and the northeast monsoon (amihan).

Quinta is forecast to be within the vicinity of Coron, Palawan on Thursday morning and 450 kms west of Coron on Friday morning.

In an earlier interview, PAGASA forecaster Fernando Cada said the new weather disturbance, the second to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) this December, is unlikely to intensify into a typhoon as it was already near land.

"Hindi na ito magiging ganap na typhoon sapagkat malapit na siya sa kalupaan. Kung lumakas ito, nasa kategorya lang ng tropical storm," Cada told dzMM.

Another PAGASA forecaster, Chris Perez, noted that the arrival of two tropical cyclones in PAR during December is a rare occurrence.

"Once in every 10 years dapat [ang ganitong pangyayari]. Pero kung titignan natin, last year we have Sendong, then this year we have Pablo and Quinta… Posibleng may abnormalidad sa panahon, kailangan nating i-update ang climatological records natin," he said.