October 18, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – The typhoon with international name “Haima” over the Pacific Ocean has entered the country yesterday afternoon, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
PAGASA weather forecaster Shelly Ignacio said the typhoon entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) at around 5:30 p.m. and was given the local name “Lawin.”
As of 6 p.m. yesterday, Ignacio said the eye of the typhoon was spotted some 1,155 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes.
It had maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 215 kph.
It was moving in a west-northwest track at 24 kph.
If it maintains speed and movement in the next few days, Ignacio said “Lawin” might make landfall in Cagayan area on Thursday morning.
She said the typhoon is expected to strengthen further and may even reach the super typhoon category before it hits land.
“Inaasahan na lalakas pa ito (Lawin) at posible pa na umabot ng super typhoon category bago ito tumama sa lupa dahil puwede pa ito kumuha ng lakas habang nasa dagat sa loob ng dalawang araw,” she noted.
Ignacio said “Lawin” is expected to traverse the provinces of Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte before it exits the country on Friday.
She warned residents in areas within the 600-kilometer diameter of the typhoon to prepare for moderate to heavy rains.
Ignacio said the eastern portions of Visayas and Luzon might already experience passing light to moderate rains beginning Wednesday because of the outer cloud bands of the typhoon.
If “Lawin” does not change track, she said its outer cloud bands might also affect Metro Manila on Thursday.
No tropical cyclone warning signal has yet been raised in any part of the country as of yesterday afternoon.
Based on the agency’s forecast track, “Lawin” is expected to be at 975 kilometers east of Baler, Aurora this afternoon.
By tomorrow afternoon, it is forecasted to be some 400 kilometers east of Casiguran, Aurora and in the vicinity of Laoag, Ilocos Norte on Thursday afternoon.
By Friday afternoon, the typhoon is seen to be at 510 kilometers west northwest of Basco, Batanes, which is already outside PAR.
Ignacio said “Lawin” will head towards China after it exits the country.
“Lawin” is the fourth tropical cyclone to visit the country this month and the 12th for this year.
Ignacio said typhoon “Karen,” which is the third tropical cyclone to affect the country this October, only left PAR around midnight yesterday.
Residents of Central Luzon felt the wrath of “Karen” over the weekend, forcing thousands to evacuate and damaging billions worth of crops and properties in the region. -MBL