Powerful Typhoon Rolly is Coming, PAGASA Says Be Prepared

Landfall likely Sunday to Monday.
Photo/s: Joint Typhoon Warning Center

(UPDATE) Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) hovered over warm waters of the Pacific Ocean on Friday, gathering strength as it heads towards Luzon. It is poised to be the strongest storm so far this year. Here's what you need to know:

Where is Rolly?

Rolly entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility Thursday night and at 10 a.m. Friday, it was spotted 1,100 km East of Central Luzon. It is forecast to track a shallow u-shaped path turning southwards slightly before pivoting to a northwest direction.

It could graze islands off Luzon's east coast before hitting land in the Quezon-Central Luzon area by late Sunday to early Monday next week.


Here's Your Typhoon Safety Guide

Here are forecast tracks from PAGASA, the Japan Meteorological Agency, and the US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

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Joint Typhoon Warning Center
Japan Meteorological Agency
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How strong is Rolly?

From a tropical storm on Wednesday, Rolly powered up to typhoon strength on Thursday and was continuing to intensify, said PAGASA forecaster Loriedin De La Cruz. As of early Friday, it was packing maximum sustained winds of 140 kph with 170 kph gusts.

The warm waters where Rolly is located gives "favorable environment for intensification," said De La Cruz. Rolly could peak with maximum sustained winds of 165 kph and 185 kph gusts.

"Malakas po yan na typhoon. Hindi dapat ipagpasawalang-bahala. Kailangan maghanda," she said.

Is it a super typhoon? Not yet based on PAGASA forecasts. However, the U.S. JTWC predicts super typhoon strengh, based on its own scale, by Saturday at 135 knots or (250 kph) while it is still out at sea before weaking to 75 knots (140 kph) at landfall, which could happen the following day.

Keep in mind that the JTWC has stronger wind predictions because it measures on a per-second basis compared to PAGASA, which is every 10 seconds.

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What damage can Rolly do?

De La Cruz said Signal no. 4, the second to the highest warning, could be raised by next week. According to PAGASA, Signal no. 4 could bring 171-220 kph winds over 12 hours and whip up to 14-meter high waves in open sea. In coastal areas, there could be storm surges of two to three meters.

Light roofs could be blown off. Winds could also damage doors, windows, and walls of houses made with medium-built materials. Signs and billboards could be taken down. There could be severe losses to rice and cornfields.

Here's your storm safety guide according to the government's disaster awareness FAQ sheet:

What to do during Public Storm Signal No. 1:

1. Listen to your radio for more information about weather disturbance.
2. Check the ability of the house to withstand strong winds and strengthen it if necessary.
3. Monitor the latest severe weather Bulletin issued by PAGASA every six hours. Business may be carried out as usual except when flooding occurs.

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What to do during Public Storm Signal No. 2: 

1. Special attention should be given to the latest position, direction, and speed movement of the cyclone as it may intensify and move towards the locality.
2. The general public, especially people traveling by sea and air are cautioned to avoid unnecessary risks.
3. Protect properties before signals are upgraded.
4. Board up windows or put storm shutters in place and securely fasten it.
5. Stay at home.

What to do during Public Storm Signal No. 3:

1. Keep your radio on and listen to the latest news about the typhoon.
2. Everyone is advised to stay in safe and strong houses.
3. Evacuate from low-lying areas to higher grounds.
4. Stay away from coasts and riverbanks.
5. Watch out for the passage of the "eye" or center of the typhoon.

What to do during Public Storm Signal No. 4: 

1. Stay in safe houses or evacuation centers
2. Cancel all travel and outdoor activities. 
3. Keep listening to your radio for the latest news about the typhoon.

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What to do during Public Storm Signal No. 5: 

1. Stay in safe houses or evacuation centers
2. Cancel all travel and outdoor activities. 

How to prepare for calamities particularly flooding:

1. Regularly monitor your radio and television for calamity news updates.
2. Prepare enough candles, rechargeable lamps, and flashlights for possible brownouts.
3. If you reside in an area near the river, waterways, or mountainsides, immediately evacuate to prevent flash floods and landslides.
4. Store enough food and water. Have a first-aid kit on hand.
5. Prepare a list of emergency hotlines.


Decoding Disaster Alerts: How to Prepare, When to Evacuate

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