By Gloria Esguerra Melencio
21 October 2009
MANILA-Tropical storm ‘Ramil” (with international codename “Lupit,” incidentally an adjective in Filipino language meaning furious) has gained strength and was seen heading toward northern Luzon on Wednesday.
Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) announced that Sta. Ana in Cagayan Valley will be hardest hit. Residents have evacuated to the barangay hall and concrete houses nearby as relief goods were already distributed to them. People have also been making preparations as animals and food were likewise brought to safer places.
Sta. Ana, a third class municipality with close to 26,000 inhabitants, is in the northeastern tip of Cagayan Valley. Its main livelihood are fishing , farming and tourism recently.
The weather agency foresees “Ramil” to be stronger than the two previous storms, Ondoy and Pepeng, to hit the country one after the other in two succeeding weeks. Its strength is forecasted to be a lot stronger while it is at sea heading toward northern Luzon.
PAGASA chief Nathaniel Cruz warned that while the head of the storm passes through Cagayan Valley, its body still brings heavy winds and rains to the whole of northern Luzon that could reach up to central Luzon.
Signal number 2 is hoisted in the provinces of Batanes Group of Islands, Cagayan, including Calayan and Babuyan Islands, and Isabela.
Signal number 1 is likewise hoisted in Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Abra,Kalinga, Mt.Province, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora and Polilio Island.
Cruz said that typhoon “Ramil” was sighted in the morning of Wednesday at a distance of 820 kilometers of east-northeastern area of Aparri in Cagayan.
Cruz further said that typhoon “Ramil” was packing at 195 kilometers per hour and gusty winds of 230 kilometers per hour.
On Wednesday morning, this typhoon will be at 480 kilometers of east northeastern part of Aparri in Cagayan and 120 kilometers of north-eastern part also of Cagayan on Thursday. On Friday, typhoon “Ramil” will be at 150 kilometers of south-west in Laoag City.
PAGASA warned the people residing on the slopes and close to mountains which areas are under storm signal number 2 to take extra precautions. Preparations are needed against threats of flashfloods and landslides, this weather agency announced.
Residents whose houses are close to sea where storm signal number 2 is hoisted are likewise alerted of possible big waves due to typhoon “Ramil.”