Tropical Storm Atsani (known locally as Siony) is forecast to reach typhoon strength by the time it passes through the Luzon Strait on Friday morning, November 6. The storm system will pass close to or over Luzon's two northernmost island groups, Babuyan and Batanes, bringing heavy rain and strong winds to the outer islands and extreme north of main Luzon Island. Atsani will then move out into the West Philippine Sea on Saturday, November 7, towards China and Vietnam.
Peak winds of 120-130 kph (75-81 mph) are forecast on Friday and a Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 1 has been issued for Batanes, Babuyan, and the north-eastern portion of Cagayan province. Rain will be heaviest in these areas but may spread further south into Luzon at a lighter intensity.
Flooding, landslides, and disruptions to businesses, utilities, and transport are possible in affected areas during the passing of the storm.
Tropical depressions, storms, and typhoons typically hit Eastern Visayas as well as Southern, Central, and Northern Luzon during the typhoon season between June and November. However, a number of storm systems in the past years have also affected Central and Western Visayas, as well as eastern, northern, central, and western Mindanao, and have reached the country outside the typhoon season. Local meteorologists attribute these changes to climate change. In general, approximately 19 storms and typhoons enter the country's area of responsibility every year, and PAGASA reports that at least six weather systems make a direct landfall.
These storm systems have the potential to unleash heavy downpours and powerful winds, as well as trigger a major storm surge that pose considerable hazards to human life and infrastructure. Despite a credible risk, the Philippines has inadequate preparedness and crisis response that increases the impact of storm systems on human communities, strategic infrastructure as well as travel and service delivery.
Those in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, including evacuation orders. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.
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