Tropical Storm Nona enters Philippines

Ghio Ong, Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - December 12, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Residents of Southern Luzon and the Visayas should brace for possible flashfloods and landslides next week due to Tropical Storm Nona (international name Melor), which entered the Philippine area of responsibility yesterday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) is expected to raise signal no. 1 over provinces in Southern Luzon and Eastern Visayas this afternoon as the storm moves closer to the country.

PAGASA marine meteorological services section chief Rene Paciente said the storm would start bringing moderate to heavy rains over these areas beginning tonight.

Paciente said rains with occasional gusty winds are expected over Northern Samar and the Bicol region starting tomorrow.

Nona is forecast to make landfall over Virac, Catanduanes on Tuesday morning.

According to Paciente, rains from Nona are likely to reach the capital in the middle of next week.

“We might raise signal no. 1 over Metro Manila on Wednesday,” he told a press briefing.

PAGASA acting administrator Vicente Malano noted that most of the areas along the path of Nona are vulnerable to floods and landslides.

Nona, however, is not expected to intensify into a super typhoon based on latest forecast, Malano said.

“Even if this is not a super typhoon, it could still be devastating,” he said.

Malano said the cyclones during the latter part of the year usually cross Southern Luzon, the Visayas and Northern Mindanao.

Paciente said Tropical Storm Seniang (international name Jangmi) triggered floods and landslides in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao in December last year, killing at least 66 people.

“If authorities ask you to evacuate, follow them because it’s hard to celebrate Christmas in a hospital or funeral home,” Paciente said.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the center of Nona was located at 795 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, packing winds of 75 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph.

It is forecast to move west northwest at 19 kph.

Paciente said the storm could still change its track due to the presence of other weather systems.

“But this (Bicol-Eastern Visayas) is the most likely path,” he said.

Nona is expected to be at 605 km east of Borongan City, Eastern Samar this morning and at 350 km east of Sorsogon City, Sorsogon tomorrow morning.

It is projected to be in the vicinity of Virac by Tuesday morning.

After hitting Catandunes, Nona is predicted to be at 55 km northeast of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro by Wednesday morning and at 195 km east of Calapan City by Thursday morning.

Nona is the 14th tropical cyclone to enter the country this year and the first weather disturbance this month.

Government prepared

Malacañang yesterday said the government is prepared for Tropical Storm Nona.

Speaking over dzRB, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said President Aquino could understand that the people were already in Christmas mood but the frontliners among government agencies were placed on alert since the storm was monitored outside of the Philippine area of responsibility.

Valte said PAGASA had long spotted the weather disturbance since it was still a low-pressure area.

“President Aquino’s directive is for the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) to ensure coordination with our local and provincial DRRMCs and all of us are on standby,” Valte said.

She said the President was monitoring the developments and that various protocols would be followed after storm signals were raised in various areas.

Valte said the Department of Social Welfare and Development had prepositioned relief goods while the Department of Health had basic medicine on standby.

She added that the Department of Public Works and Highways has also been placed on alert for heavy equipment and local government units had been warned for the possible need to implement preemptive evacuation, especially in coastal areas, with the help of the Philippine National Police.

Valte appealed to areas along the path of Nona not to panic and instead prepare, get updated information and cooperate with authorities. – With Aurea Calica




  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with