'Glenda' barrels towards Bataan

Posted at 07/16/2014 8:40 AM | Updated as of 07/16/2014 12:36 PM

MANILA (3rd UPDATE) – Typhoon ''Glenda'' (international name "Rammasun") is now in the vicinity of Bataan province, state weather bureau PAGASA said.

PAGASA weather forecaster Gener Quitlong told dzMM that the typhoon's eye was located in the vicinity of Bataan as of 9 a.m.

Quitlong said the typhoon will advance towards Zambales area in an hour, and then exit the Philippine landmass. The typhoon is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday.

Another PAGASA weather forecaster, Aldczar Aurelio, said that although the typhoon's eye did not directly hover over Metro Manila, the Philippine capital was also hit by typhoon winds.

''Iyung epekto [ng bagyo sa Metro Manila] maaaring umabot hanggang hapon. Dahil yung radius nito ay nasa 250 kilometers so kahit na ang mata ay nasa Bataan na, hagip pa rin ang Metro Manila,'' Aurelio said.

Strong winds in the metropolis uprooted large trees and toppled utility poles. Parts of Metro Manila and nearby areas are also now without electricity.

Aurelio said Metro Manila and nearby areas will experience improved weather once the typhoon reaches the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Cavite battered

Before moving towards Bataan area, the typhoon's eye made its last landfall over Cavite, bringing destruction to the province.

Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla told dzMM that Bacoor, Kawit, Noveleta, Rosario, Imus, and General Trias were the most affected areas in the province.

Rosario, Cavite Mayor Jose Ricafrente Jr. told dzMM that some 500 families were evacuated in the town. He said at least 1,000 homes in the town were also damaged due to strong winds.

In Imus, Cavite, Mayor Emmauel Maliksi said some 300 families fled their homes. In Bacoor City, many roads were rendered impassable due to toppled trees.

Storm signals

In its last bulletin, PAGASA said Glenda was packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 185 kph, PAGASA said. It was moving west northwest at 26 kph.

Public storm warning signal number 3 was hoisted over the following areas, which should expect winds of 101 to 185 kph in at least 18 hours:

Metro Manila
Pangasinan
Zambales
Tarlac
Pampanga
Bulacan
Bataan
Quezon
Polillo island
Alabat island
Rizal
Cavite
Batangas
Laguna
Marinduque
northern part of Mindoro
Lubang Island

The areas under the storm warning signal will experience heavy damage to agriculture, PAGASA said. The typhoon will uproot large trees, destroy or damage structures of light to medium construction, disrupt of electrical power and communication services, and make travel by land, sea, and air dangerous.

Signal number 2 was raised over the following areas, which should expect 61 to 100 kph winds in at least 24 hours:

La Union
Benguet
Nueva Ecija
Southern Aurora
Camarines Norte
Camarines Sur
Albay
Burias Island
Romblon
rest of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro

Meanwhile, signal number 1, with winds of 30 to 60 kph in at least 36 hours, was hoisted over the following areas:

Ilocos Sur
Nueva Vizcaya
Quirino
rest of Aurora
Catanduanes
Sorsogon
Ticao Island,
Masbate

PAGASA warned residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under storm signals to be on alert against possible floods and landslides.

"Likewise, those living in coastal areas under signal #3 and #2 are alerted against storm surges of up to 3 meters," it said.

The typhoon has an estimated rainfall rate of around 7.5 to 30 millimeters per hour (moderate to intense) within its 500-kilometer diameter.

"Fishing boats and other small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the Eastern seaboards of Luzon and Visayas," PAGASA said.

'Glenda' hammers Bicol, Calabarzon

Tens of thousands of people in the Bicol region and Calabarzon area hunkered down in evacuation centers as the typhoon pounded the country's eastern coast amid warnings of giant storm surges and heavy floods.

Glenda also claimed its first fatality from Northern Samar.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said a 25-year-old woman died in Allen town after she was hit by a fallen electric post.

Two persons from Camarines Sur, meanwhile, were electrocuted.

Three other people were reported missing on Tuesday. Bicol police said the three local men were listed as missing in Catanduanes Tuesday, a day after they pushed out to sea to fish and failed to return.

The eye of Typhoon Glenda struck Legazpi City in Bicol in the late afternoon.

"Roofing sheets are flying off the tops of houses here... the wind is whistling," Albay Governor Joey Salceda told ABS-CBN News.

The Philippines is hit by about 20 major storms a year, many of them deadly. The Southeast Asian archipelago is often the first major landmass to be struck after storm build above the warm Pacific Ocean waters.

In November, Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) unleashed giant seven-meter (23-foot) high storm surges that devastated the coasts of the eastern islands of Samar and Leyte, killing up to 7,300 people in one of the nation's worst ever natural disasters.

More than 96,000 families were moved to evacuation centers Tuesday as a precaution, Social Welfare Minister Corazon Soliman said.

The government declared a school holiday for areas in the typhoon's path, while ferry services were also shut down and dozens of flights cancelled.

"People on the coastal areas are evacuating because of the threat of storm surges," National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokeswoman Romina Marasigan told AFP.

'Yolanda' survivors terrified

More than a thousand Yolanda survivors in Tacloban, a city in Leyte, fled to an indoor government stadium early Tuesday after the weather service warned of the threat of three-meter waves hitting the coast.

"We're terrified of storm surges," mother of three Mary Ann Avelino, 26, told AFP as her family sat on the cold concrete of the bleacher seats, watching puddles form on the floor from the leaky roof.

She said her family had temporarily abandoned a lean-to at the ruins of their coastal home to sit out the new typhoon on higher ground.

State weather forecaster Alvin Pura said Rammasun, which is Thai for "God of Thunder", struck Legazpi, a city of about 185,000 people, with 130 kilometers (81 miles) per hour winds.

It was then forecast to sweep across around 350 kilometers to the northwest and hit Manila and its 12 million people on Wednesday afternoon.

Rammasun is the first typhoon to make landfall since this year's rainy season began in June, and President Benigno Aquino stressed to civil defense officials in Manila on Tuesday that people in the typhoon's path must be made to understand the dangers facing them.

"The objective has to be (to) minimize the casualties and the hardship of our people," he added.

The state weather service upgraded Rammasun overnight Monday from a tropical storm into a typhoon as its wind speeds built up over the Pacific. - with reports from ANC; Agence France-Presse