- Schools shut as a storm in western Pacific threatens the country, now brushing ground zero of 2013 supertyphoon "Haiyan".
- Storm’s “trough and shear line” is already causing flooding in several provinces in eastern and central Philippines.
- Nalgae projected to further strengthen with up to 130 km/h winds by 8am Saturday (October 29) as it hits the island province of Catanduanes.
- "Charlie protocol" set in several provinces, with possible evacuations, among contingency plans.
Manila: A tropical depression in the west Pacific has developed into Tropical Storm “Nalgae" on Thursday with an uncertain path, possibly battering eastern and northern Philippine provinces.
Its exact trajectory remains unclear. However, the storm’s “trough and shear line” is already causing flooding in several provinces in eastern and central Philippines.
By 2am Friday (October 28), Nalgae is expected to be located at 490km east of Catarman, Northern Samar in the country's east, and at 380km east of neighbouring Juban, Sorsogon by 2pm.
Forecasters at the Philippine weather bureau Pagasa stated that the storm, locally codenamed “Paeng”, has potential to give some of the eastern islands, and possibly the north, a "direct hit".
It is seen at 260km east of Virac, capital of Catanduanes province by 8pm Friday, packing winds of up to 110 km/h. By 8am Saturday (October 29), weathermen predict Nalgae could pummel the island province with up to 130 km/h gusts.
At least nine provinces in central Philippines were identified as having a "high risk” of landslides and flooding. In five of those provinces, emergency and preparedness response (EPR) was activated to "Charlie," the highest response protocol.
The provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, and Negros Occidental, meanwhile, were categorised by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) as being at high risk for the potential impact of the weather disturbance during a pre-disaster risk assessment (PDRA) that was conducted late on Wednesday afternoon, the Philippine News Agency reported.
On Thursday, classes were suspended in various areas in the Bicol region, including Albay, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, due to the inclement weather as the weather pattern intensified.
School was shut Thursday in Bacolod City at all levels for both public and private schools, as per order issued by Bacolod City Mayor Albee Benitez.
Current data shows it is more likely to track west if the storm moves slower than expected.
If the storm takes a more westerly trajectory — it could give eastern and northern Philippine provinces a “direct hit”.
If it moves up north, it could whip northern Philippine before heading towards Taiwan.
According to the assessment's findings, the EPR of Guimaras and the more densely populated districts of Bacolod and Iloilo remain at no risk to very low risk, RDRRMC spokesperson Cindy Ferrer told the Philippine News Agency.
According to the "Charlie protocol," local government units must, among other things, activate most or all of their response clusters, guarantee operational readiness of critical lifelines, conduct evacuations proactively or forcibly, recommend work or class suspensions, and issue pertinent advisories and contingency plans.
The Mines and Geosciences Bureau has designated 1,808 "barangays" (villages) in the area as being vulnerable to flooding.
In an alert issued on Thursday, emergency workers were advised to "take all essential steps to protect life and property".