Signal number 4 still hoisted over Cagayan, Isabela provinces
PAGASA-DOST MTSAT-EIR satellite image for typhoon Juan (Megi) as of 11 p.m. Oct 17, 2010 [PAGASA-DOST]
MANILA, Philippines – Metro Manila was placed under public storm signal number 1 by state weather bureau PAGASA Sunday night as typhoon Juan (international name Megi) changed direction as it continued to bear down on Northern Luzon.
Storm signal number 4 remains hoisted over Cagayan and Isabela provinces, while Batanes, Calayan, the Babuyan group of islands, Apayao, Kalinga, the Mountain Province, Ifugao, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, and Northern Aurora are under signal number 3.
locos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, Benguet, and rest of Aurora were placed under storm signal number 2 while signal number 1 was declared in Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Polillio Island, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Northern Quezon, Metro Manila, and Rizal.
The typhoon slightly slowed down as it moves west-southwest at 20 kilometers per hour (kph), PAGASA said in its 11 p.m. briefing.
Animated loops [ loop 1, loop 2 ] of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's satellite shots on the weather disturbance showed Juan moving downward as as it nears land.
The typhoon now packs maximum winds of 225 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 260 kph.
Its gustiness has been compared by the weather bureau to typhoon Rosing (1995) and Anding (1981). In comparison, the strongest typhoons to ever hit the Philippines has been Reming (2006), which had gusts of up to 320 kph, and Sening (1975), which had gusts of up to 275 kph.
PAGASA officer-in-charge Graciano Yumul said the typhoon’s reduced velocity as it nears land means that it will dump more rain over areas that it will hit.
The amount of rainfall being carried by the typhoon rose Sunday night to between 50 to 60 millimeters of water, based on the weather bureau’s radar data.
Juan was located 280 km east-northeast of Tuguegarao, Cagayan as of 11:00 p.m. Sunday.
The typhoon is expected to make landfall over Cagayan province between 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 am Monday, and is expected to exit over the western coast of Ilocos Norte by 7:00 p.m.
The eye of the typhoon is expected to pass over Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte.
Under Department of Education (DepEd) regulations, there are no classes in all levels in areas under signal number 4.
Those under signal number 3 and 2 will have no classes in the elementary and high school levels, the DepEd rules state.
Areas under signal number 1, including Metro Manila, will have no classes in pre-school and kindergarten.
Category 5 super typhoon
Tropical Storm Risk , a London-based company that provides real-time mapping and prediction of tropical cyclones worldwide, said Juan is a category 5 super typhoon, the highest rating.
The government has advised up to 7 million people in its direct path to stock up on food and medicine.
Government forecasters said waves off the east coast could be greater than 14 meters and advised against travel to the region as the typhoon could bring flash flooding, landslides, and storm surges.
People living along the coast, near river banks and low-lying areas in the northern Cagayan and Isabela provinces have started moving to higher grounds, Benito Ramos, head of the national disaster agency, told reporters.
Trucks, rubber boats, amphibious vehicles and generators were sent to the north to help in the rescue and relief operations, he added. Schools in the north will be closed on Monday.
Yumul called on people to take precautions and stock up on food, fuel and water as well as emergency power because electricity services might be affected.
"This is a very strong typhoon and we're asking our people to be vigilant," he said, adding strong winds could uproot trees and damage houses made of light materials. "We don't want any casualty." – with a report from Reuters