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MANILA, Philippines – Severe Tropical Storm Nina (Nock-ten) is expected to make landfall in the Bicol Region right on December 25, Christmas Day. What’s worse is that it could still strengthen into a typhoon before it hits land.
In a bulletin issued 11 am on Friday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Nina is already 790 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. It continues to move west northwest toward the direction of Luzon at 25 kilometers per hour (km/h).
The severe tropical storm strengthened further late Friday morning and now has maximum winds of up to 105 km/h and gustiness of up to 130 km/h.
“Ina-anticipate po natin na posible pang lumawak ang sakop ng bagyo sa mga darating na araw,” said a PAGASA forecaster in a news briefing.
(We anticipate that Nina will become stronger and affect a larger area over the next few days.)
Nina’s Christmas landfall this Sunday in Bicol – possibly as a typhoon – will either be in the afternoon or evening.
There are no areas under tropical cyclone warning signals yet, but later Friday afternoon or evening, PAGASA said it will already raise signals for provinces in Bicol and also in the Samar area.
The state weather bureau warned that storm surges are possible in coastal areas in Bicol, Samar, and Quezon. Sea travel is generally risky in the northern seaboards of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon.
“Malakas po ito… ang Kapaskuhan natin ay magiging maulan, may malalakas na hangin. Habang tayo’y nag-ce-celebrate, maging handa rin po tayo,” said PAGASA Deputy Administrator for Operations and Services Landrico Dalida.
(Nina is strong… Our Christmas will be rainy and there’ll be strong winds. While we’re celebrating, let us also prepare.)
Aside from Bicol, the state weather bureau also warned other areas in Southern Luzon as well as Central Luzon and Metro Manila that they would be affected by Nina. Moderate to heavy rain is expected within Nina’s 350-km diameter, which could bring floods and landslides.
PAGASA added that Metro Manila is expected to feel the impact of the severe tropical storm on Monday, December 26. Signal number 2 or 3 could even be raised in the metropolis, depending on Nina’s strength by the time it reaches the area.
Nina is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday, December 28.
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