Manila: Several provinces in the eastern portion of the country were placed on alert yesterrday as storm Jelawat (local codename, Lawin) continued to gain strength.
Jelawat was reported a 4:00 pm today to be located 405 km East of Borongan, Eastern Samar while carrying with maximum sustained winds of 105 kph near the centre and gustiness of up to 135 kph. The weather disturbance was forecast by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) to move in a north northwest slowly. The storm has a diameter of 600 kilometres.
The province of Eastern Samar had been placed under storm signal No 2 while Signal No 1 had been hoisted over the provinces of Sorsogon, Leyte, Northern and Western Samar.
Initially forecast to just clip the Philippines area of responsibility, PAGASA said there are now indications that Jelawat will make a landfall in Northeastern Philippines’ Cagayan or the Batanes group of islands sometime by tomorrow or Tuesday.
“The storm is moving slowly at a speed of 9 kph,” PAGASA said.
Areas affected by the storm will experience heavy to intense rainfall of 10 to up to 25 mm per hour.
PAGASA alerted those living in coastal areas to be on the alert for big waves while fishing boats and other small seacraft were told to avoid the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao due to big waves
In Metro Manila, PAGASA advised residents to prepare for heavy rains and possible flash floods.
As an effect of the weather disturbance, Manila as well as the suburbs of Quezon, Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati, Taguig, Las Pinas, Paranaque, Muntinlupa and Pasay are experiencing thunderstorms.
Rains caused by the presence of Jelawat had also forced PAGASA to warn residents living in the vicinity of four major dams in Central Luzon to be on alert for flooding.
PAGASA said the spill gates of the dams Angat and Ipo in Bulacan, Binga dam in Benguet, and Magat dam in Isabela; are continuously releasing water as their reservoirs breached the normal levels.
Meanwhile, the La Mesa dam in Novaliches in Quezon City has nearly reached operational level following days of being placed on red alert status. Better weather conditions had caused water levels to go down.
La Mesa, where a portion of Metro Manila’s potable water comes from, is a major cause of flooding in the northwest portion of the metropolis, particularly Quezon City and the Caloocan, Malabon and Navotas areas.
The dam is located downstream from the Tullahan River.
Every year, the Philippines is visited by at least 20 powerful weather disturbances.