- 2012elections - 9/11 Special Coverage - aca - africanamericanalzheimers - aids - Alabama News Network - american - Awards & Expo - bees - bilingual - border - californiaeducation - Caribbean - cir - citizenship - climatechange - collgeinmiami - community - democrats - ecotourism - Elders - Election 2012 - elections2012 - escuelas - Ethnic Media in the News - Ethnicities - Events - Eye on Egypt - Fellowships - food - Foreclosures - Growing Up Poor in the Bay Area - Health Care Reform - healthyhungerfreekids - howtodie - humiliating - immigrants - Inside the Shadow Economy - kimjongun - Latin America - Law & Justice - Living - Media - memphismediaroundtable - Multimedia - NAM en Espaol - Politics & Governance - Religion - Richmond Pulse - Science & Technology - Sports - The Movement to Expand Health Care Access - Video - Voter Suppression - War & Conflict - 攔截盤查政策 - Top Stories - Immigration - Health - Economy - Education - Environment - Ethnic Media Headlines - International Affairs - NAM en Español - Occupy Protests - Youth Culture - Collaborative Reporting

Typhoon Lupit to Slam Northern Philippines

Inquirer.net, News Report, Nikko Dizon and Alcuin Papa, Philippine Daily Inquirer Posted: Oct 22, 2009

MANILA, Philippines Typhoon Ramil slowed down then nearly tripled its speed in a matter of six hours as it headed straight to northern Luzon island for an expected landfall on Oct. 23 Philippine time.

Weather bureau officials said the high-pressure area near Hong Kong had moved farther up north, giving way for Ramil to barrel toward Cagayan and neighboring provinces.

The eye of the typhoon (international name: Lupit) was expected to make landfall in Cagayans northwestern town of Aparri.

Its possible that by Friday morning (today), Ramil will make landfall in Cagayan, Dr. Prisco Nilo, chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said at a late afternoon press conference on Thursday.

Nilo gave the typhoon a 10-percent probability of veering away and heading toward Taiwan. But based on all data available, it would make landfall (today), he said.

PAGASA Deputy Administrator Nathaniel Cruz said that northern Luzon was already stormy as of Thursday night.

In Barangay [Village of] Punta, Aparri, Cagayan, waves as high as 7 feet were already smashing into the seawall Thursday morning.

The winds were so strong they could knock a man to the ground. Barangay Punta is located in an area where the Cagayan River meets the ocean and is surrounded by a thick seawall.

But it was the waves and the sea that fishermen in the area like Jeffrey Mayormita eyed suspiciously.

These are small waves. It could get bigger when the storm comes, Mayormita said as a fresh stream of salty water sprayed his thin frame.

We are used to storms because they come every year. Every time, we get nervous. But God is merciful, he added.

Mayormita said he had already fortified his small house. But he said he would not leave it behind to go to an evacuation center.

We will just stay inside, and brace ourselves. As for our boats, we will watch them, too, when the storm comes, he said.

Slightly Weakened

PAGASAs 5 p.m. weather bulletin said Ramil was forecast to move west southwest at 13 kilometers per hour.

Six hours earlier, PAGASA announced that Ramils speed had slowed to 5 kph, prompting it to forecast that the typhoon would make landfall by Sunday morning.

While gaining speed, Ramil slightly weakened, packing maximum sustained winds of 160 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 195 kph.

At 4 p.m. Thursday, the eye of the typhoon was spotted 180 km east of Aparri.

(It weakened further at 10 p.m., with maximum sustained winds of 120 kph near the center and gusts of up to 150 kph and was located 150 kms east of Aparri.-Ed)

Farther Inland

In Barangay San Antonio, adjacent to Barangay Punta, a group of women at the beach also watched the sea warily.

This is just low tide. Just wait for high tide. The waves could be strong enough, and reach our houses and even farther inland, said Leni Cabusi, 44.

Her neighbor Violy Notar, 50, said she and other residents in the area would have to leave their homes at night.

When high tide sets in at around 4:00 p.m., thats when we go inland, either to an evacuation center or homes of our relatives. At day time, we come back, and watch the sea, Notar said.

Collapsed Seawall

Residents have good reason to watch the sea as much as they can. A part of the seawall in Barangay San Antonio collapsed into the sea at the height of Typhoon Pepeng (international codename: Parma).

In Barangay Maura, residents were frantically trying to erect a wall of sandbags to keep the waves from coming in and damaging their homes.

Residents there told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the seawall of Barangay San Antonio was supposed to be extended to their barangay. But the funds, they said, were used for another project.

Johnny de la Cruz, a driver for the local government, said only an old seawall built during the Japanese occupation stand between houses and the strong waves. The old seawall is a good 30 meters behind the new one.

In the old days, there were still a lot of beach beyond the old seawall. In fact, people used to have houses there. Now its all water and the waves are now crashing into our homes, De la Cruz said.

Stones on Roofs

The roofs of houses in Barangay Mauro are all weighed down with various materials, from old tires to large stones. Pieces of bamboo crisscross already fragile-looking galvanized sheets.

Maura resident Resty Ronderos lost his house when Pepeng struck. Strong waves washed away his seaside home.

We already tried to construct a wall of sacks here. But look, that wall is all gone, Ronderos said, pointing to remnants of sacks littered on the beach.

Will the local government put in new sandbags? Who knows? I dont know, he said.

Even I got very dizzy with this typhoon, Nilo quipped in Filipino toward the end of the 5 p.m. press conference.

PAGASAs forecast earlier Thursday indicated that Ramil was sandwiched between two high-pressure areas over the Pacific Ocean and the South China Seaone pushing it to the west toward Hong Kong, while the other was blocking its path.

Because of this, Ramil was nearly stationary over the Pacific, moving at 5 kph west southwest compared with its speed of 15 kph on Wednesday afternoon.

At the 5 p.m. briefing, Nilo said the high-pressure area over Southern China gave way and allowed the typhoon to accelerate.

Asked if Ramil could still intensify, Nilo said there was little probability because it is already accelerating ahead and its very near land already.

Nilo further expressed optimism that Ramil would further weaken once it hit the Sierra Madre mountain range.

He said the eye of the typhoon was expected to be overland for 12 hours or less.

At the very least, at this point before its landfall, [Ramil] wont likely reach supertyphoon intensity anymore, Nilo said. He noted that it had peaked at 195 kph a few days ago.

Storm Signal No. 3

Storm Signal No. 3 was hoisted over the Batanes group of islands, Cagayan, including Calayan and Babuyan Islands, Apayao and Ilocos Norte.

Storm Signal No. 2 was raised over Kalinga, Isabela, Ilocos Sur, Abra, and Mountain Province.

Storm Signal No. 1 was up in La Union, Benguet, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino and northern Aurora.

Ramil was expected to be 90 km east of Aparri on Friday night.

By Saturday night, the typhoon is forecast to be in the vicinity of Aparri, and by Sunday night, 50 kms west of Aparri or 70 kms northeast of Laoag City.

Because of bad weather, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government has issued an outbound travel alert, advising its residents to exercise caution when traveling to the Philippines.

With a report from Jerry E. Esplanada

Photo credit: REM ZAMORA

Related Articles:

The Scars Left By Typhoon Ketsana On My Family

Manila's Deadly Flood 50 Years Ago

Typhoon-Ravaged Philippines Asks For Int'l Help

Death toll from Philippine storms nears 1,000: govt

Walking On Water

Page 1 of 1




Just Posted

NAM Coverage

International Affairs