PAGASA adds Storm Signal No. 5 to storm warning system

Gwen De La Cruz

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PAGASA adds Storm Signal No. 5 to storm warning system
The state weather bureau says the increase in extremely damaging tropical cyclones in the country makes the previous storm warning systems 'inadequate'

MANILA, Philippines – Due to the increasing number of extremely damaging typhoons that visit the Philippines, state weather bureau PAGASA officially added Storm Signal no. 5 to its list of public storm warning signals.

The new storm signal represents the Super Typhoon (STY) category – typhoons packing maximum sustained winds of more than 220 km/h, which the weather bureau adopted a year after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) wreaked havoc in the country.

“The extensive and devastating damages caused by strong typhoons, such as Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, made the 4-level warning system (PSWS) Numbers 1-4 inadequate,” PAGASA said in a press release on Wednesday, May 20.

Storm Signal no. 5 will now be used for typhoons with maximum sustained winds of more than 220 km/h. It is expected to bring very heavy to widespread damage in affected areas. Storm surges of more than 3 meters are also possible in coastal areas.

The additional storm warning signal is based on the study of retired PAGASA Director Dr Leoncio Amadore, in addition to the past experiences of the country with super typhoons.

In 2006, Super Typhoon Reming devastated Albay, killing more than a thousand. In 2014, Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) was also categorized as a super typhoon. Typhoon Chedeng (Maysak), on the other hand, was considered a super typhoon when it entered the country, but was downgraded before it hit land.

Below is PAGASA’s new warning system:

1 36 30-60 No damage to very light damage
2 24 61-120 Light to moderate damage
3 18 121-170 Moderate to heavy damage
4 12 171-220 Heavy to very heavy damage
5 12 more than 220 Very heavy to widespread damage

Having Storm Signal no. 5 does not make the other storm signals any weaker, PAGASA’s weather division OIC Esperanza Cayanan clarified.

Malakas pa rin po ito (Storm Signal No. 4). Huwag ipagbahala just because may Signal no. 5 na,” she said. (Storm Signal No. 4 is still strong. Don’t be complacent just because there’s Signal No. 5)

PAGASA encourages the public to remain vigilant and to always monitor its latest bulletin. It will also conduct a massive information campaign on the new changes in its system. –

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