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Ulysses Brings Threat of Storm Surge, Here's How to Prepare

They could go as high as 2 meters, NRRMDC warns.
by Ara Eugenio
Nov 10, 2020
Photo/s: Romeo Gacad/Agence France-Presse
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Still reeling from the impact of Super Typhoon Rolly, the Philippines is bracing for Tropical Storm Ulysses (Vamco) as it continues to gather strength over the Pacific, authorities said Tuesday.

Ulysses could peak at Typhoon strength, according to PAGASA and disaster response authorities have sent out text alerts for possible storm surges.

Storm surges as high as 1 to 2 meters is possible in the coastal areas of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, and Aurora. It could lead to moderate to significant damage  in these coastal communities. It can also cause flooding to low-lying communities.

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"These storm surges, which may be accompanied by swells and breaking waves reaching the coast can cause life-threatening and damaging coastal inundation," PAGASA said.

Here's a full storm surge guide, according to Official Gazette. 

What are storm surges?

A storm surge is the above normal increase of water level in shorelines, caused by strong winds brought by typhoons. These strong storms bring about strong winds and low pressure areas that push sea water to shores, leading to its accumulation and abnormal increase in water level, causing major flooding in areas near the shores. 

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It can as far as kilometers from the seashore, depending on the shape and height of the wave, and can destroy and wash away anything in its path.

The Philippines is a country susceptible to the danger posed by storm surges because it has very long coastlines. Properties have been destroyed and lives have been loss many times before due to storm surges usually brought about by visiting typhoons. Among them was strongest super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) which caused storm surges as high as 5 meters, enabling it to wipe out communities in Tacloban in 2013. 

Courtesy of Official Gazette

How to prepare for a storm surge

Listen and follow the officials.

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Follow weather updates from PAGASA ang other assisting government agencies via the radio, television, or internet.

Be ready to evacuate.

Be ready for the possibility of evacuating to a more elevated area or evacuation center even before the storm surge happens. Always be calm and composed. Prepare and bring the following with you: clothes, food and water, first aid kit, flashlight, and battery-operated radio.

Prepare your house.

Before evacuating, search the house and fix its weak parts. Tightly close the windows and turn off the electrical main switch. Place your important belongings to a high place. 

Evacuate to a more elevated place.

Keep at least half a kilometer distance from the shoreline if the storm passes directly to your area.

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