Storm surges as high as 10 feet are expected in the country’s east coast as Typhoon Rolly – the world’s most powerful this year – threatens to unleash its fury on Luzon, including Metro Manila, beginning tonight.
Heavy rains are expected to inundate many parts of Luzon, particularly the Bicol region, and trigger volcanic flow.
“It looks like we will have really strong winds, increasing the chances of widespread flooding and landslides,” Mark Timbal, spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, told ABS-CBN.
“Storm surges are imminent on our east coast. We are monitoring Mayon and Taal volcanos for possible volcanic mud flows,” he added.
Authorities yesterday ramped up preparations in the Bicol region, marshaling rescue vehicles, emergency response teams and relief goods ahead of the typhoon.
“Violent winds and intense rainfall” are expected that could trigger flooding and landslides in the region of more than 20 million people, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
In an advisory released Friday night, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said high-volume rainfall is expected to generate volcanic sediment flows or lahar from Mayon, Taal and Pinatubo.
PAGASA said Rolly (international name Goni) will likely remain in the typhoon category as it carries maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour at the center and gustiness of up to 265 kph.
Tropical cyclone warning signal number 3 was raised in the areas of Catanduanes, the northeastern portion of Camarines Sur and the northeastern portion of Albay.
Signal numbers 3 and 4, the highest alert level, mean that the wind could pose heavy damage to high-risk structures and could cause widespread disruption of electrical power and communication services.
With winds of up to 121-170 kph, large trees could be broken and this will cause widespread damage to agriculture, such as banana, coconuts, corn and rice crops.
PAGASA said the typhoon would be considered a super typhoon if it reached maximum sustained winds of at least 220 kph based on the average of 10-minute intervals.
The eye of the typhoon was located 345 km east of Virac, Catanduanes at 4 p.m. yesterday and was moving westward at 25 kph.
It was expected to make landfall in Catanduanes today between 4 and 6 a.m., and then Camarines at around 6 to 8 a.m. It will get to mainland Quezon by afternoon through evening.
Rolly will cross Southern Luzon and Metro Manila as it is forecast to exit the Philippines by tomorrow morning.
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