MANILA, Philippines — Metro Manila has been told to brace itself for another typhoon “Milenyo” as tropical storm “Glenda” (international name Rammasun) is expected to intensify as it barrels across Luzon, including the capital, in the next two days.
Slightly changing track, Glenda will make landfall Tuesday morning over Albay instead of Catanduanes, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Public storm warning signals were raised in several provinces in Bicol and southern Luzon including Metro Manila as the storm intensified during the day.
Packing maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of 140 kph as of Monday afternoon, Glenda was spotted 470 kilometers east southeast of Virac, Catanduanes on Monday afternoon, while moving westward at 30 kph over the Bicol region.
“It’s one step away from being a typhoon,” Pagasa weather forecaster Jori Luiz said, adding that the storm would intensify while nearing land.
Public storm signal number three was raised over Catanduanes, while public storm signal number two was raised over the Camarines provinces, Masbate, including the Burias and Ticao islands, Albay, Sorsogon, Marinduque, southern Quezon and Northern Samar.
Public storm signal number one was raised over Romblon, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Lubang island, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, southern Aurora, northern Quezon including Polillo islands, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran and Metro Manila.
Luiz said the storm would make landfall Tuesday morning over Albay.
It will hit Metro Manila on Wednesday 2 a.m., although rains and gusty winds from the storm will start to be felt in the capital by Tuesday afternoon, according to Luiz.
At the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) briefing, a senior weather official likened tropical storm Glenda to typhoon “Milenyo,” which slammed into Metro Manila in 2006.
“It’s possible that what happened during the time of Milenyo will happen again. Metro Manila may experience something similar to what it experienced then,” said Pagasa assistant weather forecaster chief Rene Paciente.
“It will not be a direct hit (like Milenyo) but it’s almost like a direct hit,” he added, explaining that Metro Manila falls within the storm’s 200-kilometer radius.
Paciente said Glenda might even bring heavier rains than Milenyo, which unleashed strong winds and heavy rains at the same time.
According to Pagasa, Glenda is expected to be near Ligao City in Albay on Tuesday afternoon and is expected to exit from the vicinity of Bataan and Zambales by Wednesday noon.
It is expected to be outside the Philippine area of responsibility by Thursday morning.
NDRRMC executive director Alexander Pama said local disaster councils have been alerted, but as of Monday afternoon, no preventive evacuation has been ordered in areas at risk of floods and landslides.
The weather bureau will get a more accurate estimate of the expected rainfall once the eye of the storm nears Virac, Catanduanes, according to Pama.
Pagasa has warned of floods and landslides in Cagayan Valley (Region 2), Central Luzon (Region 3), National Capital Region and Bicol (Region 5).
According to the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), 934 villages are susceptible to landslides while 3,958 are susceptible to floods in the affected provinces.