'Glenda' intensifies, heads for Metro Manila

Posted at 07/15/14 11:29 PM

MANILA (UPDATED) - Typhoon Glenda (international name Rammasun) gained more strength after making landfall over Albay and moved towards Calabarzon and Metro Manila on Tuesday night.

In its latest advisory issued 11 p.m., state weather bureau PAGASA said the typhoon is expected to cross Metro Manila before noon Wednesday and leave Luzon via Zambales several hours later.

More areas were placed under public storm warning signal number 3. These areas should expect winds of 101 to 185 kph in at least 18 hours.

  • Metro Manila
  • Catanduanes
  • Albay
  • Sorsogon
  • Camarines Norte
  • Camarines Sur
  • Quezon
  • Polillo Islands
  • Alabat Island
  • Marinduque
  • Laguna
  • Batangas
  • Rizal
  • Burias Island
  • Ticao Island
  • Cavite
  • Bulacan
  • Bataan
  • Pampanga
  • Tarlac
  • Zambales

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

  • Southern Aurora,
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Pangasinan
  • Romblon
  • Masbate
  • northern parts of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro
  • Lubang Island
  • Northern Samar

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

  • rest of Aurora
  • Quirino
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Benguet
  • La Union
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Biliran
  • Northern Cebu
  • Cebu City
  • Camotes Islands
  • Bantayan Island
  • northern part of Leyte
  • Eastern Samar
  • Samar

The typhoon was last spotted at 65 kilometers southeast of Alabat, Quezon, as of 10:45 p.m. Tuesday.

It is packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

The tropical cyclone is moving west-northwest at 19 kph.

PAGASA said warned residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under storm signals to be alert against possible flashfloods 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 mm 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.

3 missing as 'Glenda' hammers Albay

Tens of thousands of people in the Bicol region hunkered down in evacuation centers while 3 people were reported missing on Tuesday as the typhoon pounded the country's eastern coast amid warnings of giant storm surges and heavy floods.

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.

He said there had been no reports of deaths while damage to the region -- an impoverished farming and fishing region of 5.4 million people -- was expected to be "moderate".

However, Bicol police said three local men were listed as missing off the island of Catanduanes on Tuesday, a day after they pushed out to sea to fish and failed to return.

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 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' (Haiyan) 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-metre 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 a report from Agence France-Presse