Severe tropical storm 'Jolina' maintains strength as it heads for Southern Luzon



Severe tropical storm "Jolina" (international name "Conson") has maintained its strength while crossing the Sibuyan Sea towards Southern Luzon.

In the 8 p.m. tropical cyclone bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the center of Jolina at 65 kilometers (km) east-northeast of Romblon, Romblon.

It was packing maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 125 kph while moving west-northwest at 15 kph.

In the next 12 hours, PAGASA said Jolina will likely move generally west-northwest over the Sibuyan Sea while heading towards the Bondoc Peninsula-Marinduque area.

The center of the severe tropical storm may make landfall or pass near over the Bondoc Peninsula-Marinduque area by Wednesday morning, Sept. 8.

Afterward, it will traverse Tayabas Bay before another landfall over the Quezon-Batangas area Wednesday afternoon.

From Wednesday afternoon to Thursday morning, Sept. 9, Jolina is seen to traverse Calabarzon, just south of Metro Manila, and Central Luzon before exiting the landmass.

PAGASA senior weather specialist Chris Perez said Jolina will likely be closest to Metro Manila between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on Wednesday.

However, PAGASA said that a land interaction may lead to the weakening of Jolina into a tropical storm.

Tropical cyclone warnings still up

As Jolina continues to batter parts of the country, tropical cyclone wind signal number 2 remains in effect in Metro Manila, Romblon, Quezon, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Marinduque, southern portion of Bulacan, southern portion of Bataan, northern and central portions of Oriental Mindoro, northwestern portion of Sorsogon, northern portion of Masbate, western portion of Albay, and western and southern portions of Camarines Sur.

Signal No. 1 is also hoisted over the rest of Sorsogon, the rest of Masbate, the rest of Albay, the rest of Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Camarines Norte, the rest of Camarines Sur, western portion of Catanduanes, the rest of Bulacan, Zambales, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Pampanga, the rest of Bataan, Nueva Ecija, central and southern portions of Aurora, southeastern portion of Quirino, southern portion of Nueva Vizcaya, southern portion of Benguet, southern portion of La Union, western portion of Northern Samar, northwestern portion of Samar, Aklan, northwestern portion of Antique, Capiz, and northeastern portion of Iloilo.

Intense rains, wind gusts, storm surges

In the next 24 hours, heavy to intense with at times torrential rains may prevail over Masbate, Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Romblon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, and Occidental Mindoro.

Moderate to heavy with at times intense rains may also affect Metro Manila, Western Visayas, Aurora, and Catanduanes.

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

Likewise, damaging gale-force to storm-force winds may occur in areas under Signal No. 2 and strong winds with occasional gusts in areas under Signal No. 1.

"In the next 24 hours, the threat of coastal inundation due to storm surge up to 0.5-1.0 m (meter) continues for several coastal localities of Burias, Bondoc Peninsula, Marinduque, Romblon, Oriental Mindoro, and Batangas," PAGASA also said.

"Jolina is forecast to emerge over the West Philippine Sea before noon on Thursday. Re-intensification is forecast to occur beginning Thursday afternoon as the tropical cyclone moves west-northwestward over the West Philippine Sea towards the southern China-northern Vietnam area," it said.

Jolina will likely leave the Philippine area of responsibility by Friday, Sept. 10.