'Jolina' intensifies into severe tropical storm; possible landfall over E. Samar-N. Samar area Monday evening or Tuesday morning -- PAGASA


Tropical cyclone "Jolina" (international name "Conson") has further intensified and is now a severe tropical storm, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Monday evening, Sept. 6.

The center of severe tropical storm Jolina was estimated at 30 kilometers east-northeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar at around 7 p.m.

It was packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 115 kph while moving west-northwest at 15 kph.

Based on the latest forecast track, PAGASA said Jolina will likely have its first landfall over the Eastern Samar-Northern Samar area Monday evening or early Tuesday morning, Sept. 7, then on to its second landfall over Catanduanes by Tuesday afternoon.

Afterward, Jolina may move northwest parallel to the east coast of Southern Luzon and will likely make its third landfall over the eastern section of Central Luzon by Thursday morning, Sept. 9.

As of Monday evening, tropical cyclone wind signal number 2 was hoisted over Eastern Samar, the eastern portion of Northern Samar, and the northeastern portion of Samar.

Meanwhile, Signal No. 1 was raised over Sorsogon, Albay, Ticao Island, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, southeastern portion of Camarines Norte, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, the rest of Samar, the rest of Northern Samar, Dinagat Islands, Siargao Islands, and Bucas Grande Islands.

Due to the uncertainty of the intensity forecast, PAGASA is not ruling out Jolina's possible intensification into a typhoon.

"Thus, the highest possible tropical cyclone wind signal that may be raised throughout the passage of Jolina will be Signal No. 3," PAGASA pointed out.

PAGASA warned against possible moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, and Sorsogon in the next 24 hours.

Moderate to heavy rains may also prevail over Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Masbate, and the rest of Visayas.

"Under these conditions, isolated to scattered flash flooding and rain-induced landslides are possible especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards as identified in hazard maps," PAGASA said.

Jolina may also bring strong to gale-force winds in areas under Signal No. 2 and strong winds with occasional gusts in areas under Signal No. 1.