The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on Wednesday evening, Dec. 15, said that typhoon “Odette” (international name: “Rai”) maintained its strength while moving toward Eastern Visayas and Caraga region.
As of 7 p.m, the center of typhoon Odette was estimated at 535 kilometers (km) east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte or at 445 km east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
PAGASA said the typhoon will likely make landfall over Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, or the southern portion of Eastern Visayas by Thursday afternoon, Dec. 16.
Odette remains a strong cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 160 kph while moving westward at 20 kph.
Due to the approaching typhoon, tropical cyclone wind signal number 2 remains hoisted over the southern portion of Eastern Samar, southern portion of Samar, Southern Leyte, central and southern portions of Leyte, Camotes Islands, eastern portion of Bohol, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, northeastern portion of Bukidnon, eastern portion of Misamis Oriental, and Camiguin.
The areas that were placed under Signal No. 1 were: Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands, southern portion of Quezon, Marinduque, Romblon, southern portion of Quezon, southwestern portion of Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, northern portion of Palawan, Northern Samar, the rest of Eastern Samar, the rest of Samar, the rest of Cebu, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Siquijor, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Guimaras, Antique, northern portion of Davao Oriental, northern portion of Davao de Oro, northern portion of Davao del Norte, the rest of Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, northwestern and central portions of Bukidnon, northern portion of Lanao del Norte, northern portion of Lanao del Sur, northern portion of Zamboanga del Norte, and northern portion of Zamboanga del Sur.
“Damaging gale- to strong-force” winds are expected within 24 hours in areas under Signal No. 2, while “strong” winds may prevail within 36 hours in areas under Signal No. 1.
“The highest level of wind signal that may be hoisted during the passage of Odette is tropical cyclone wind signal number 3 due to possible destructive typhoon-force winds in localities near or along the path of this tropical cyclone,” PAGASA said.
Heavy rains begin early Thursday
“Tonight (Dec. 15) through tomorrow early morning (Dec. 16), light to moderate with at times heavy rains are possible over Caraga, Davao Oriental, Eastern Samar, Samar, and Southern Leyte due to the trough and outermost rain bands of Odette,” PAGASA said.
Heavy to intense with at times torrential rains may begin to affect Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, northern portion of Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, northern portion of Agusan del Sur, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Southern Leyte, Bohol, Cebu, Siquijor, Negros Oriental, and Negros Occidental early Thursday.
Moderate to heavy with at times intense rains may also affect Leyte, southern portions of Eastern Samar and Samar, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Guimaras, northern portion of Zamboanga del Norte, and the rest of Caraga, while light to moderate with at times heavy rains may persist in Bicol Region, the rest of Zamboanga del Norte, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, and the rest of Visayas and Northern Mindanao.
From early Friday morning, Dec. 17, through early Saturday morning, Dec. 18, heavy to intense with at times torrential rains may persist in Western Visayas and the northern and central portions of Palawan including Cuyo and Cagayancillo Islands.
Meanwhile, moderate to heavy with at times intense rains may prevail over Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, and Negros Oriental, and light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Bicol Region, Zamboanga del Norte, Quezon, Aurora, the eastern portions of Cagayan and Isabela, and the rest of Visayas.
“Under these conditions, scattered to widespread flooding, including flash floods, and rain-induced landslides are expected especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazard as identified in hazard maps, and in localities with significant antecedent rainfall,” PAGASA said.
After its expected landfall, Odette will likely continue to move generally westward and cross several provinces in Central and Western Visayas before emerging over the Sulu Sea on Friday morning.
“After passing near or over the Cuyo archipelago, this tropical cyclone is forecast to cross the northern portion of Palawan on Friday afternoon or evening before emerging over the West Philippine Sea,” PAGASA said.
“Further intensification is expected today through tomorrow as the typhoon crosses the Philippine Sea and may reach a peak intensity of 155 kph prior to making landfall tomorrow afternoon. This tropical cyclone may see some slight weakening as it crosses the Visayas and Palawan, but it is forecast to remain within the typhoon category. Re-intensification is likely once Odette emerges over the West Philippine Sea,” it added.