a repost from manilatimes.net
Signal No. 4 over Cagayan, Isabela as winds reach 225 kph
Typhoon Juan intensified further on Sunday with winds near its center reaching 225 kilometers per hour (kph) forcing the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) to raise public storm signal No. 4 over Isabela and Cagayan
in northern Luzon. The typhoon (international name Megi) is expected to make landfall on Monday morning and the eye of the typhoon is expected to pass by Cagayan, Apayao and Ilocos Norte.
In their late afternoon press conference, the weather bureau announced that Juan was spotted 390 kilometers east of Appari in Cagayan, with maximum sustained winds of 225kph near the center and gustiness of up to 260kph. It is forecast to move west at 22kph.
Before Sunday afternoon when it was 520k east of Appari, Juan packed winds of 195kph near the center and gustiness of up to 230kph. But Pagasa said also before Sunday afternoon that there is still a possibility that Juan could become a “super typhoon,” which would bring maximum sustained winds of 215kph.
Pagasa hoisted public storm signal No.4 over Cagayan and Isabela, while signal No. 3 was raised in Batanes, Calayan, Babuyan Group of Islands, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Quirino and Northern Aurora.
Storm signal No. 2 was hoisted over Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, La Union, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya and Aurora.
Meanwhile, storm signal No. 1 was declared over Panga-sinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija and Polilio Island.
Pagasa said that areas not directly on the path of the typhoon, particularly Metro Manila, will experience only cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers.
This is because the southwest monsoon (“habagat”) had already ended, and won’t cause heavy rains, according to Robert Sawi, officer in charge of the weather division.
Suspension of classes
Classes in areas where storm signal Numbers 2, 3 and 4 are automatically suspended. But since no storm signal has been raised over Metro Manila or the National Capital Region (NCR), Education Undersecretary Alberto Muyot said that classes in the metropolis will not be suspended.
“Since there are no storm signals, there will be classes in the NCR,” he said.
In an interview over ABS-CBN, Muyot said that the suspension of classes are based on existing guidelines of the Department of Education.
Based on the guidelines, classes in the preschool, kindergarten, elementary and high school levels are automatically suspended if storm signal Numbers 2, 3 and 4 are hoisted by Pagasa.
Meanwhile, classes in the preschool and kindergarten levels are automatically suspended in all areas under storm signal No. 1 and upward.
Suspension of classes for the college level, meanwhile, is under the discretion of the colleges and universities concerned, and also upon orders of the Commission on Higher Education, Muyot said.
Palace advises public
At the Palace, deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said residents in affected areas should prepare for Typhoon Juan, pointing out that correct preparations are the best weapon to avert any disaster during powerful typhoons.
During an interview over Radyo ng Bayan, Valte also advised parents and students not to wait for an official announcement from Education department on the suspension of classes during a inclement weather.
On Friday, President Benigno Aquino 3rd said in his statement that the government would be giving hourly updates on Typhoon Juan through the Pagasa website and its official Twitter feed.
President Aquino also asked residents in affected areas to cooperate with their barangay, municipal, provincial and national officials in ensuring orderly and efficient preparations are made.
“The private sector, too, can alert their employees, particularly those who are Red Cross volunteers, to be ready to help, when needed. We do not want to unduly alarm the public but there is nothing lost by being prepared,” he said.
“Let us all do our part to ensure that we remain focused on proactive measures to reduce risk to populations,” President Aquino said, adding that he is confident that the government will work hand-in-hand with the citizenry “to bring out the best in all of us as we brace for the coming storm.”
The Philippines is battered by an estimated 20 typhoons a year, some of them deadly.
Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng struck Luzon within a week of each other in September and October last year, triggering the worst flooding in recent history.
The twin storms killed more than 1,000 people, affected nearly 10 million and caused damage worth $4.3 billion, according to the World Bank and international humanitarian agencies.
Still dangerous after three days
China’s National Meteorological Center said Juan was expected to enter the South China Sea on Monday and could cause wild winds and huge waves in the next three days, Xinhua said.
The US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center in its latest advisory Sunday said Juan has undergone “rapid intensification” over the past 12 hours, but could weaken as it moves across mountainous terrain upon entering Luzon.
Juan would then begin to steadily re-intensify as it exits the country for the South China Sea, it said.
FRANCIS EARL A. CUETO AND CRIS G. ODRONIA WITH REPORT FROM AFP
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