Storm signals up in 6 provincesBy DJ Yap, Joey A. Gabieta and Inquirer Visayas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Public storm warning signals were hoisted over six provinces on Saturday as Tropical Storm “Lawin” (international name: Jelawat) intensified slightly as it moved slowly over the Philippine Sea.
In its 5 p.m. advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Lawin was packing maximum sustained winds of 105 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up 135 kph. The eye was observed at 405 km east of Borongan, Eastern Samar.
Signal No. 2 was up over Eastern Samar, while Signal No. 1 was raised over Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Western Samar, Leyte and Southern Leyte, Pagasa said.
The weather bureau said Lawin had slowed and changed direction. On Friday afternoon, it was moving in a west-southwest direction because of its interaction with the high pressure area in the north.
Lawin is expected to be at 330 km east of Borongan this morning. By tomorrow morning, it will be 290 km northeast of Borongan, and by Tuesday morning 290 km northeast of Virac, Catanduanes, Pagasa said.
The weather bureau advised residents living in low-lying and mountainous areas under public storm warning Signal Nos. 1 and 2 against possible flash floods and landslides.
“Likewise, those living in coastal areas under public storm warning Signal No. 2 were alerted against big waves or storm surges generated by the tropical storm,” Pagasa said.
Lawin is seen to bring heavy to intense rains, from 10 to 25 mm per hour, within its 600 km diameter.
The Philippine Coast Guard advised fishing boats and other small seacraft not to venture out into the eastern seaboard of southern Luzon, the Visayas or Mindanao due to the big waves caused by strong to gale winds.
In Tacloban City, more than 400 passengers were stranded in the ports of Allen town in Northern Samar and in San Ricardo town, Southern Leyte, after vessels were barred from sailing due to the storm.
The Coast Guard did not issue a clearance to any vessel in Northern Samar and Southern Leyte to prevent any sea accidents, said Ben Linde, Office of the Civil Defense in Eastern Visayas (OCD-8) information officer. Mar S. Arguelles, Inquirer Southern Luzon