EXPLAINER: What does tropical cyclone warning signal no. 5 mean?

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 01 2020 11:17 AM

MANILA - The highest level in a 5-step tropical cyclone warning signal in the Philippines was raised over Camarines Sur and Albay on Sunday morning as Super Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) hit land twice in Bicol region.

The world's strongest storm so far this year comes nearly a week after Typhoon Quinta devastated parts of Luzon and Visayas, leaving at least 16 dead and displacing some 242,220 people.

TCWS No. 5 warns of winds greater than 220 kilometers per hour that may be expected in at least 12 hours, wave heights of more than 14 meters, and storm surges of more than 3 meters in coastal areas.

It was last raised in 2016 as Super Typhoon Lawin (international name: Haima) lashed Luzon, leaving at least 18 people dead.

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With maximum sustained winds of up to 225 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 315 kph when Lawin lashed in the evening of Oct. 19, 2016, TCWS No. 5 was raised over Cagayan, Isabela, Kalinga, Apayao, Northern Abra and Ilocos Norte at the time.

According to state weather bureau PAGASA, the warning signal may case:

  • widespread damage to high-risk structures
  • very heavy damage to medium-risk structures
  • heavy damage to low-risk structures
  • almost total damage to structures of light in highly exposed coastal areas
  • complete roof failure on many residences and industrial buildings
  • severe and extensive window and door damage
  • most residential and institutional buildings of mixed construction may be severely damaged
  • electrical power distribution and communication services severely disrupted
  • all signs/billboards blown
  • total damage to banana plantation
  • most tall trees are broken, uprooted or defoliated
  • coconut trees are stooped, broken or uprooted
  • few plants and trees survive
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--With reports from Jaehwa Bernardo, ABS-CBN News