An unnamed tropical storm is headed for Cebu Province. However, it is expected to strengthen to a Category 1 typhoon before making land fall in Cebu. The storm is dipping into Mindanao a bit further than normal. Davao, for example, has never been hit by a typhoon but it is dangerously close to this one. As this image from Tropical Storm Risk shows below in this 72 hour forecast. It shows the storm near Bacolod and back to a tropical storm a that time.
Un-named Typhoon Takes Aim Upon Cebu
This forecast could change again. Yesterday evening it was predicted to be a tropical storm in Cebu and a category 1 when it made landfall in northern Mindanao. Bogo will be in the upper right quadrant so I hope it isn’t a large storm. As we returned from Tacloban yesterday, storm clouds were beginning to mass. Our departure and one other fast craft were both delayed about 30 minutes. We heard thunder around I guessed that might have been the reason. We did run into some moderate seas about half way to Cebu City from Ormoc City. Nothing to be alarmed about. Just not the smooth as glass that I’ve become accustomed too. There have been thunderstorm off and on since we arrived in Bogo City last night and throughout the day with some short but heavy downpours.
The last storm to hit Cebu turned out to be an almost non-event. However, the Tropical Storm Risk (TSR) never classified it as a typhoon. The Philippines has its own weather authority, the PAGASA and it has a different set of classifications. The last storm was classified as a typhoon by PAGASA but only as a tropical storm by TSR.
Tropical storms and above should never be taken lightly. They usually do kill people. The most death from a storm in the Philippines was caused by a tropical storm that lingered for a couple of weeks if I recall correctly. It was even worse than the typhoon that flooded the Manila area a couple of years ago after it sit atop Manila for a few days. That typhoon was referred to as a one hundred year storm though. And the death toll was probably lower because of better prevention and flood control than in years gone by.
Most Filipinos and expats ride these storms out. Though many head for Davao. The trick is to get out quick enough. I’ve known people planning to escape to Davao or other areas in the southern Philippines only to have their flights cancelled as the weather became worse sooner than expected.
I’m amazed at how well some of the homes, some of the nipa huts remain standing. In fact, many of the nipa huts remain standing though more have roof damage and are in need of repair. After typhoon Frank (Fengshen in the Philippines) hit Cebu and Iloilo back in 2008, I was surprised at how little damage there was in Bogo City. There was damage, especially to roads and roofs but I expected it to be much worse for a category three storm. However, nipa huts in the direct path usually are destroyed. So far, I’ve been lucky enough to avoid more than category two winds myself.
Mandaue City and Cebu City have been having problems with flooding several times this year and I expect flash flood to return to those two cities this week. However, one never knows. If the storm continues to track more northerly than expected, it could slam into Bogo City or miss us completely. I’ll vote for a miss if anyone is taking a vote.
Flooding Likely in Cebu City
I’m not in much danger for this storm, We might get some flooding on the bottom floor but that’s not all that unusual. Three days of heavy rain will do that. It is not underground but it just almost is. I’m on a hill, half way up a small mountain and about a half mile from the coast line. This would be a bad place for a category four storm but I don’t expect significant danger to myself or the home. Those living around me will have a much more difficult time. I hope those coconut trees are far enough away to miss my bedroom if they fall. I suspect they are, but just barely. The banana bushes around will get flattened if we have a significant storm. The last storm to hit Cebu didn’t even knock those down but this is a stronger storm.
Cebu doesn’t get hit a lot of typhoons and we are now out of the typhoon season. The monsoon winds have sifted and that probably plays a role in the more southerly track this storm is taking. You are likely to hear talk of global warming. While I was an early skeptic, I’ve seen enough now to know that global warming is likely real. Am I willing to say without a doubt? No, I’m not. I’ve been too sure of many things and proved wrong. As I get older, I find I know much less. I’ve seen many jelly fish in December and I don’t think they should be here. I’m going by Jessie but she didn’t grow up in Cebu. Water temperatures in Leyte could be different but I doubt they are substanially different. The water seems warmer for some reason, I’m just not willing to jump to conclusions as to why. If you still totally dismiss global warming, I don’t think you’ve updated yourself on the information lately.
In any case, if you’re in Cebu you should prepare for a typhoon as it appears we have one headed for the peace loving people of Cebu.
Filed under: Living in Cebu
Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!