MANILA, Nov 6 (Mabuhay) -– A new typhoon that is set to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) tomorrow could be as powerful as typhoon “Pablo” (international name Bopha) which devastated Mindanao in 2012, an expert said Wednesday.
According to Dr. Mahar Lagmay, executive director of Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), said the rainfall amount from the incoming typhoon (international name Haiyan) could match Pablo’s.
Pablo, which killed more than 1,000 people when it slammed into Mindanao in December 2012, brought as much as 80 millimeters per hour of rain, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
“Models show that this incoming typhoon would be much like Pablo. When Pablo made landfall, it brought massive rains and strong winds. People should be careful,” Lagmay said.
Lagmay is particularly worried about the quake-ravaged province of Bohol where many structures remain vulnerable to collapse.
“Some Boholanos still do not want to enter buildings and houses for fear of collapse. Once the typhoon hits the area, shelter will become a problem,” Lagmay said.
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) meteorologist Rene Paciente shared Lagmay’s forecast, saying cyclones passing near the equator tend to dump more rains because of the higher presence of moisture in the region.
PAGASA said Haiyan, moving west at 30 kph, is set to make landfall in Samar-Leyte area on Friday afternoon.
PAGASA has already categorized Haiyan as a typhoon as it is now packing maximum sustained winds 120 kph and gusts of up to 150 kph.
As of 4 a.m. today, Haiyan was spotted 1,560 kilometers east of Mindanao. Once it enters PAR on Thursday, Haiyan will be locally named “Yolanda.”
Lagmay said residents in areas in the typhoon’s path should prepare for possible landslides and flash floods.
State forecasters earlier said public storm warning signal number 4 could be raised in areas in the Visayas because of the threat of Haiyan.
If this happens, It will only be the 15th time that a signal number 4 is declared in the country since 1991.
Meanwhile, the United States Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) prognostic reasoning issued at 5 a.m. today said “due to very favorable environmental conditions, rapid intensification is forecast over the next 36 hours with a peak intensity expected over the Philippine sea.”
The Hawaii-based agency said Haiyan is forecast to pack 140 knots (259.28 kilometers per hour) at 2 p.m. on November 7.
Haiyan will slightly weaken to 135 knots (250.02 kph) at 2 a.m. on November 8, or before it makes landfall in Eastern Visayas area.
The JTWC said Haiyan will further weaken as it tracks across the Philippines, but should emerge over the West Philippine Sea near a 115-knot (212.98 kph) intensity.
PAGASA forecaster Gener Quitlong, meanwhile, said Haiyan will exit Philippine landmass on Saturday morning in Mindoro area, and exit PAR on Sunday.(MNS)