4/01/2015

MAYSAK, UN VISITEUR INATTENDU !

Maysak, un visiteur attendu !

Ce n’est pas vraiment la saison et pourtant, Maysak semble vouloir nous passer dessus.
Si son prédécesseur s’est effondré à quelques milliers de kilomètres des côtes de l’archipel, ‘’Chedeng’’, pour son nom local, semble bien décidé à nous rendre visite.

Des températures anormalement élevées à la surface de l’océan dit Pacifique, fait que des typhons se forment à cette période de l’année ; ce qui est anormal au vu des statistiques. Je rappelle que la saison des typhons aux Philippines s’étend normalement de juin à septembre, que cette période s’est trouvée décalée ces dernières années et que les typhons nous visitaient entre les mois d’août et de décembre. Les premiers dans la saison ayant tendance à aller visiter le Japon, ceci après avoir effleuré le nord de l’archipel philippin.


Keeping foreign and Filipino tourists safe as they travel to the provinces for the weekend when Typhoon “Chedeng” (international name: Maysak) makes landfall in Luzon is the biggest challenge for authorities, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Wednesday.

“The challenge is that many of our people are going home in the [Lenten] holiday mode. They might not see the advisory and warning,” NDRRMC Executive Director Alexander Pama said.

President Benigno Aquino III showed full trust and confidence in his lieutenants tasked with disaster management, saying that his only latest reminder to them was to be “thoroughly prepared” for Chedeng once it enters the Philippine area of responsibility.

The President said that Science Secretary Mario Montejo had advised him “there was no need to call for a bigger meeting” than what was usually handled by the NDRRMC.

Mr. Aquino also expressed confidence that every department, such as the Department of Public Works and Highways, Transportation and Social Welfare and Development, were prepared for Chedeng’s possible onslaught.

The President also heaped praises on the former Navy chief.

“In the person of Alex Pama, our former FOIC (Flag Officer in Command), he is a self-starter. You don’t have to tell him what to do. So I’m sure he already has the answers to my questions that I am still formulating,” Mr. Aquino said.

Signal No. 1, travel ban

The President said that Pama was a “very proactive guy (who) has proven himself in the series of typhoons that have come since he has been appointed NDRRMC chief,” adding that the former FOIC had also spearheaded improvements in the Navy.



“So, he has not even texted me today. Meaning, there is no problem that he can’t handle,” Mr. Aquino said.

“So far, I haven’t seen anything that we should put extra attention to,” he said.

In its latest news briefing, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said it may raise public storm warning signal No. 1 over the Bicol and Samar provinces on Thursday.

Chedeng was expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility late Wednesday or early Thursday.

READ: Typhoon ‘Chedeng’ enters PH late Wednesday

“We will suspend sea travel between Bicol and Samar once the storm warning signals are raised,” Pagasa meteorologist Jori Luiz said.

Pagasa said it would still allow land travel up to tomorrow afternoon. “By Friday night, we are no longer confident in allowing travel,” said Esperanza Cayanan, weather division chief at Pagasa.


Pagasa’s forecast track showed that the critical areas expected to bear the brunt of the typhoon were Aurora, Nueva Vizcaya, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Zambales and Quezon provinces.


The surrounding provinces, including Metro Manila, will also be affected.

Tens of thousands of Filipinos have already begun traveling to the provinces and popular tourist spots before public holidays begin on Thursday.

Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin urged travelers to follow weather bulletins, but did not give a categorical travel advice whether to cancel their plans.

“We will feel the [effects of the] typhoon by Friday evening through Saturday and Sunday, when [people will be] on their way back [from the provinces],” Gazmin said in a news briefing at the NDRRMC on Wednesday.

Bookings canceled

He advised travelers to “make necessary adjustments and at the same time continue to monitor the weather forecasts.”

People, who earlier planned to visit Baguio City, which along with the rest of northern Luzon is on the path of Chedeng, have already made adjustments.

Hotels in the summer capital reported an increase in cancellation of room reservations at the start of Holy Week. More cancellations are expected Thursday and Friday owing to the incoming typhoon and reports of traffic jams in the city due to simultaneous road projects.

Anthony de Leon, president of the Hotel and Restaurant Association in Baguio, announced the canceled bookings at a news conference. “[O]ne booked room that is lost in one night is gone forever,” he said.

Some cancellations made early in the week were attributed to the incoming typhoon, but most appeared to be reactions to the traffic jams created by simultaneous road works, according to De Leon.

Chedeng was moving northwest and was about 1,220 km from the eastern town of Guiuan in Samar early Wednesday.

READ: ‘Maysak’ slightly weakens, heads for Isabela-Aurora

Category 5

The typhoon, currently a category five storm—the highest rating—is hovering over the Pacific Ocean with winds gusting as high as 250 km per hour.

Pagasa said the typhoon would affect the eastern coast of Luzon starting tomorrow. It will make landfall sometime late Saturday or early Sunday somewhere in Isabela, Aurora or Quezon and then cross northern and central Luzon from Monday to Tuesday.

Chedeng is expected to weaken once it hits the central or northern parts of Luzon as the Philippines celebrates the long Easter weekend.

“This is very strong and it will maintain its strength as it nears, although we expect that the typhoon will weaken,” Cayanan said in a televised briefing.

“But this will still be typhoon intensity so it will bring strong winds when it makes landfall on the eastern coast,” she added.

With a 600-km diameter, the typhoon will unleash gusty winds and heavy to at times intense rains over northern and central Luzon.

Mahar Lagmay, Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards (Noah) executive director, said Noah would issue storm surge warnings in affected municipalities tomorrow, when it has more information for accurate forecast.

The AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Gregorio Catapang, placed military forces in Luzon on red alert on Wednesday.

The Philippine National Police said it had mapped out its own disaster preparedness plan.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas reminded police and local government officials to look after the safety of not only local residents but also of tourists, who are expected to flock to various religious destinations in Luzon during the Holy Week.

“We should be able to consider the travelers as well in our preparations if (Chedeng) makes a landfall,” Roxas said in a statement. “Whether the typhoon gains strength or weakens, the important thing is for us to be ready and alert.




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1 comment:

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