New tropical depression approaching
STATE weather bureau PAGASA on Saturday raised Signal No. 3 in Catanduanes as Typhoon Rolly maintained its strength, while Tropical Depression Atsani (international name) moved towards the country’s landmass but remained outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) at 1,600 km. east of the Visayas.
Typhoon Rolly continued to move towards Luzon from 540 km. east-northeast of Virac, Catanduanes, pouring rains and bringing gusty winds over parts of the country.
In a severe weather bulletin on Saturday, PAGASA said “Rolly” will continue to move west-southwestward towards the sea off the coast of the Bicol region at 20 kph before turning west-northwestward early Sunday
It has maximum sustained winds of 215 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 265 kph.
“The center of the eye of the typhoon is forecast to pass very close to Catanduanes tomorrow early morning, over the Calaguas Islands and very close to mainland Camarines provinces tomorrow morning, and over the Polillo Islands and mainland Quezon tomorrow afternoon or early evening,” PAGASA said.
It did not rule out the possibility of “Rolly” making landfall over Catanduanes and the Camarines provinces.
“During its traverse over Luzon, ‘Rolly’ is forecast to weaken considerably and emerge as a severe tropical storm or minimal typhoon over the West Philippine Sea,” it said.
From late evening Saturday though Sunday, “Rolly’s” passage will bring heavy to intense rains over Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Burias Island, Calabarzon, Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, and Tarlac.
Moderate to heavy rains will be experienced over Marinduque, Romblon, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Northern Samar, mainland Cagayan Valley, and the rest of Bicol and Central Luzon.
From early morning to afternoon on Sunday, PAGASA said there will be violent winds and intense rainfall over Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, and the northern portion of Camarines Sur associated with “Rolly’s” inner rainband-eyewall region.
From Sunday afternoon to evening, it will be over Quezon and the southern portion of Aurora.
“After crossing Central Luzon, the center of ‘Rolly’ is forecast to exit the mainland Luzon landmass on Monday morning,” it added.
Meanwhile, Tropical Depression Atsani has maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 70 kph, and is moving west-northwest at 25 kph.
It is expected to enter PAR by Sunday afternoon.
Smaller than “Yolanda”
Rolly is deemed strong but its diameter is smaller than Typhoon Yolanda, which killed over 6,000 people when it battered several parts of the country in 2013.
This means Rolly will affect fewer areas than Yolanda, with its heavy rains and strong gusts to be mostly felt on areas along its path such as Bicol, Calabarzon, Bicol, Metro Manila, and Central Luzon.
“Ito po ang mga rehiyon kung saan kritikal ang paghahanda dahil dito mararanasan ang mga mapaminsalang hangin,” PAGASA weather specialist Ariel Rojas told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Weekend.
Rolly is seen to pass close to the Calaguas Islands on Sunday morning and hit Polillo Island and mainland Quezon Sunday afternoon or evening, PAGASA said.
Rojas said the forecast track may change depending on the strength of a weather system.
“Kapag lumakas ang high-pressure area ay posible na itong maglandfall sa Catanduanes. Kapag ito humina ay posibleng dumaplis ang eyewall sa may northern part ng Bicol region,” Rojas told CNN Philippines’ Newsroom Weekend.Philippine News Agency, CNN Philippines