Thousands have been ordered to evacuate in the southern part of the main Luzon island in advance of the expected landfall of Typhoon Goni on Saturday, October 31. Typhoon Goni, with 215 kph (133 mph) sustained winds and gusts of up to 265 kph (164 mph) making it equivalent to a category 5 hurricane, has prompted pre-emptive evacuations in the coastal and landslide-prone communities in the provinces of Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur. Typhoon Goni (also referred to as Typhoon Rolly) is moving westward at 20 kph (12 mph) from the Pacific Ocean and will bring intense rains over the capital and 14 provinces nearby on Saturday evening, and threats of floods and landslides. During its traverse over Luzon, Goni is forecast to weaken considerably and emerge as a severe tropical storm or minimal typhoon over the West Philippine Sea. A full list of areas currently under weather warnings in relation to Goni can be found here.
Associated disruptions to transport, business, and utilities are possible over the coming days as the storm system passes.
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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