MANILA, Philippines – Signal No. 2 was raised for the first time due to Odette (Rai), after the weather disturbance strengthened from a severe tropical storm into a typhoon at 8 am on Wednesday, December 15.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 11 am bulletin on Wednesday that Odette’s maximum sustained winds increased to 120 kilometers per hour from 110 km/h, while its gustiness is now up to 150 km/h from 135 km/h.
The typhoon is expected to intensify further over the Philippine Sea before making landfall in Caraga or Eastern Visayas on Thursday afternoon or evening, December 16. Its projected peak intensity is 155 km/h.
Odette was last spotted 590 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, moving west at 20 km/h, slightly slower than its previous speed of 25 km/h.
Here are the areas under tropical cyclone wind signals as of 11 am on Wednesday, with several parts of Luzon also included for the first time:
Signal No. 2 (damaging gale- to storm-force winds)
- eastern part of Surigao del Norte (Claver, Siargao Island, Bucas Grande Island)
- Surigao del Sur
Signal No. 1 (strong winds)
- Masbate including Ticao Island
- southern part of Romblon (Cajidiocan, San Fernando, Magdiwang, Alcantara, Looc, Santa Fe, San Jose)
- Eastern Samar
- Northern Samar
- Southern Leyte
- Negros Oriental
- Negros Occidental
- Agusan del Sur
- Agusan del Norte
- rest of Surigao del Norte
- Dinagat Islands
- northern part of Bukidnon (Malitbog, Impasug-ong, Sumilao, Manolo Fortich, Libona, Baungon)
- Misamis Oriental
- northern part of Misamis Occidental (Plaridel, Baliangao, Sapang Dalaga)
- northern part of Zamboanga del Norte (Dapitan City, Sibutad, Rizal, La Libertad, Dipolog City)
The highest possible tropical cyclone wind signal due to Odette is Signal No. 3.
The typhoon’s trough or extension and outermost rainbands are already bringing some rain on Wednesday. Below is PAGASA’s rainfall forecast as of 11 am.
Wednesday, December 15, until early Thursday morning, December 16
- Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain – Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Southern Leyte
Early Thursday morning, December 16, until early Friday morning, December 17
- Heavy to intense rain, with at times torrential rain – Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, northern part of Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, northern part of Agusan del Sur, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Southern Leyte, Bohol, Negros Oriental, Cebu
- Moderate to heavy rain, with at times intense rain – Leyte, southern part of Eastern Samar, Siquijor, rest of Caraga
- Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain – Bicol, Zamboanga del Norte, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, rest of Visayas, rest of Northern Mindanao
Early Friday morning, December 17, until early Saturday morning, December 18
- Heavy to intense rain, with at times torrential rain – Western Visayas, northern and central parts of Palawan including Cuyo and Cagayancillo Islands
- Moderate to heavy rain, with at times intense rain – Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Negros Oriental
- Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain – Bicol, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, Zamboanga del Norte, Quezon, Aurora, eastern part of Cagayan, eastern part of Isabela, rest of Visayas
Scattered to widespread floods and landslides are likely in areas to be affected by Odette.
PAGASA also warned of “a minimal to moderate risk” of storm surges up to 2 meters high in the next 48 hours.
“Rising seawater along with the high waves from the shoreline moving inland may cause flooding in the low-lying coastal localities of Visayas, southern portion of Masbate, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, and Misamis Occidental,” the weather bureau said.
On Wednesday, seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone wind signals will have moderate to high seas, with waves 1.2 to 7.5 meters high. Travel is risky for all types of vessels.
A gale warning also remains in effect for these seaboards as Odette and the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan are causing rough to very rough seas:
- seaboards of Northern Luzon
- eastern seaboard of Central Luzon
- eastern and western seaboards of Southern Luzon
- western seaboard of Visayas
- eastern seaboard of Mindanao
PAGASA added that moderate to rough seas, with waves 1.2 to 3.1 meters high, are risky for small vessels in these seaboards:
- remaining seaboards of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon
- western and northern seaboards of Mindanao
After Odette’s initial landfall in Caraga or Eastern Visayas, it is seen to cross several provinces in Central Visayas and Western Visayas before emerging over the Sulu Sea on Friday morning or afternoon, December 17.
Then it could pass near to or over the Cuyo archipelago and cross the northern part of Palawan on Friday evening before finally exiting landmass toward the West Philippine Sea.
PAGASA said Odette may slightly weaken as it crosses the Visayas and Palawan, but it will remain a typhoon. It is also likely to reintensify over the West Philippine Sea.
Odette is the Philippines’ 15th tropical cyclone for 2021. Around 20 form within or enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility each year.
Here are PAGASA’s estimates for tropical cyclones in the coming months:
- December 2021 – 1 or 2
- January 2022 – 0 or 1
- February 2022 – 0 or 1
- March 2022 – 0 or 1
- April 2022 – 0 or 1
- May 2022 – 1 or 2