Areas in Samar, Masbate, Romblon, Panay, Mindoro
'Yolanda' a ‘delubyo’ - PAGASA forecaster
MANILA - At least seven areas may be covered by signal number 4 once typhoon Yolanda hits landfall, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.
Typhoon Haiyan (international name) is still gaining strength outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility with sustained winds of up to 175 kilometers per hour (kph).
Robert Sawi, chief of the PAGASA’s weather division, said “kung ang hangin ay lalagpas pa ng 185 kph, delubyo na ang mangyayari sa tatamaan ng signal number 4. Kung tuloy-tuloy ang track, ang signal 4 ay itataas sa three provinces sa Samar, Masbate towards Romblon, northern Panay and Mindoro area.”
He said the destruction could mean “halos wala nang punong matitira sa areas [with signal number 4].”
Weather forecasters noted that Haiyan was still 1,221 kilometers east of Mindanao, which means it would still intensify while feeding on waters off the Philippines.
It had gustiness of up to 201 kph as of 4:00 p.m. on Wednesday.
Haiyan will be named Yolanda once it enters the PAR within 24 hours, or in the morning of November 7, weather forecaster Christopher Perez said.
He said it will hit landfall over the Eastern Visayas by early Friday until afternoon.
A super typhoon?
Perez said the country categorizes cyclones up to the “typhoon” category. “But it can still intensify. If it will breach the 215 kph, then we can address it as a super typhoon.”
Meteorologists abroad forecast Haiyan could reach up to 240 kph.
Yolanda will be the 15th weather disturbance that will carry a storm signal number 4. The country experienced storm signal 4 during the onslaught of typhoon Odette in 2013.
This early, the country should already prepare for the typhoon “which could be the strongest this year," PAGASA said.
At its current pace, it was carrying 30 millimeters of rains per hour, which is considered “intense”.
Asked if Metro Manila will be directly affected, Perez said occasional rains will begin tomorrow afternoon. “We still don’t expect a storm signal over Metro Manila, but the storm may still intensify.”