‘Yolanda’-like typhoon threatens to hit PH by Friday

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) is keeping track of Typhoon Hagupit (international name), a massive storm heading towards the Philippines.

Photo credit: Facebook-PAGASA/DOST
Photo credit: Facebook-PAGASA/DOST

Once the storm enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Thursday, it will be renamed as ‘Ruby’.  The name ‘Hagupit’ is a contribution from the Philippines to the international pool of typhoon names.  It is but unfortunate that the storm is now heading to the country.

Similar to Yolanda

Hagupit/Ruby is a massive storm estimated to have a radius of around 600 km or a diameter of 1,200 km.  With this size, it could cover close to two thirds of the country or the area from southern Luzon to northern Mindanao, reports the Inquirer.

Photo credit: Inquirer
Photo credit: Inquirer

Right now, it is gaining strength as it moves across the Pacific Ocean.  By Friday, the weather bureau estimates it would increase its sustained winds to 240 kph (130 knots), placing it under the category of ‘supertyphoon’.

Tracking the storm

According to Rappler, international weather forecast agencies are providing different tracks for the typhoon, making it harder to determine where exactly the storm will hit.

Many are in agreement, however, that the storm could possibly hit Eastern Visayas if it makes landfall this coming Sunday. This was affirmed by Rene Paciente, Pagasa assistant weather services chief.

This is quite alarming because the models are pointing to the same spots hit by the devastating Supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) of 2013.  If Hagupit/Ruby follows the same track, it could cause further damage to areas which are still struggling to rise up from the devastation suffered last year.

Other possible tracks

Aside from the Eastern Visayas track, there is also a possibility that the storm will move towards Northern Mindanao or Southern Luzon.

There is, however, only 60% chance that this storm will make landfall, reports ABS-CBN News.  There is also a possibility it could veer away and move towards Japan.

Pagasa officials are hoping the Hagupit/Ruby would follow the path of other potentially dangerous supertyphoons like typhoon Ompong (Vongfong) which only skirted PAR but did not affect the country or go near any PH landmass.

This scenario could happen if the high pressure area will weaken; allowing the storm to move upwards and away from landmass.

Right now, the weather bureau could not provide a specific prediction because the storm is still too far away and is still not within PAR.

Getting ready

With such a huge and potentially devastating storm heading to the Philippines, people are advised to get ready and be prepared for possible problems.

Keep ample supply of food and water. Those living in low-lying areas or in places prone to landslides and flooding should prepare for possible evacuation.

As early as today, check your house for things that need to be fixed, including roofs that could be blown off by the strong winds or large trees which could fall on your house.

Always be prepared for anything. Stay safe, everyone.