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Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) Updates: Pablo’s Strong Winds and Heavy Rainfall Hit Mindanao Provinces


“Typhoon Pablo”, with the international code name of Bopha, made landfall in Mindanao early Tuesday bringing very strong winds and heavy rains.

According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa), the strong typhoon made land fall on the southern part of Davao Oriental.

“Typhoon Pablo” after gathering strength from the Pacific hit Mindanao with initial reports saying that it marred coastal areas, damaged houses and other infrastructures like bridges, caused some flooding in some areas and uprooted trees causing road blocks.

Pagasa said that the typhoon has maintained its strength of 175 kilometers per hour (109 miles per hour) and gustiness of up to 210 kph (130 mph).   The typhoon is expected to move west-northwest at 26 kph.

Preemptive and forced evacuations were made by local officials on Monday.  Classes were also suspended with many schools designated as evacuation centers.  Local officials estimated about 40,000 residents evacuated to safer areas.  President Aquino also appealed for people in the areas expected to be affected by the typhoon to evacuate and prepare for the onslaught.

Public storm warning signals were  raised by Pagasa covering many provinces in Mindanao and the Visayas.

Public storm warning signal number:  Southern Leyte, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Southern Cebu, Surigao del Norte incl. Siargao, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Province, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Bukidnon, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, North Cotabato, Lanao del Sur, Lanao del Norte Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur and Davao del Norte incl. Samal Is.

Public storm warning signal number 2:  Iloilo, Guimaras, Capiz, Leyte incl. Biliran, Negros Occidental, rest of Cebu including Camotes Is., Davao del Sur, Sultan Kudarat, Zamboanga Sibugay and Maguindanao.

Public storm warning signal number 1:  Palawan including the Calamian Group of Islands, Ticao Island, Masbate, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Aklan, Antique, Basilan, Sarangani and South Cotabato.

The storm also will cover so many areas bringing heavy rains with its 600-kilometer-wide rain band.  Storm surges of up to 4 meters of waves are expected on coastal areas.

Because of the bad weather, the Philippine Coast Guard has ordered all sea vessels to stop sailing within and those bound for the Visayas and Mindanao areas.  This has caused about 3,000 passengers to be stranded in many ports.

Domestic flights were also canceled.  As of this writing, more than 100 flights by PAL, Cebu Pacific, Zest Air, among others bound for Visayas and Mindanao were canceled.

Pagasa added that by Tuesday afternoon, the eye of the storm is expected to be in Cagayan de Oro area.  On Wednesday morning, it will be expected to hit the Panay provinces while on Thursday morning, “Typhoon Pablo” is expected to be 230-km northwest of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

This typhoon, considered to be the strongest this year, and even stronger than “Typhoon Sendong” that caused the death of more than 1,000 people in Mindanao last December, is also expected to affect Metro Manila with some rains as it is expected to be 780-km west of Metro Manila by Friday morning.

Image credit: gmanews.tv

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