MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Odette (Rai) continued to strengthen over the Philippine Sea while moving toward the Caraga region in Mindanao before dawn on Thursday, December 16.
Odette now has maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour from the previous 140 km/h, and gustiness of up to 185 km/h from the previous 170 km/h, said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in its 5 am bulletin on Thursday.
PAGASA now expects the typhoon to reach a peak intensity of 155 to 165 km/h before landfall, from the earlier forecast of only up to 155 km/h.
As of early Thursday, Odette was located 330 kilometers east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, moving west northwest at a faster 25 km/h.
The typhoon is projected to make landfall in Dinagat Islands, Siargao-Bucas Grande Islands, or the northern part of Surigao del Sur on Thursday afternoon.
Even before landfall, Odette already began lashing parts of Mindanao with massive rainfall early Thursday. This is PAGASA’s rainfall forecast as of 5 am:
Thursday, December 16, until early Friday morning, December 17
- Heavy to torrential rain – Caraga, Central Visayas, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Southern Leyte, Negros Occidental
- Moderate to heavy rain, with at times intense rain – Leyte, southern part of Eastern Samar, southern part of Samar, Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao del Sur, rest of Northern Mindanao
- Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain – Bicol, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Quezon, rest of Visayas, rest of Zamboanga Peninsula, rest of mainland Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao
Early Friday morning, December 17, until early Saturday morning, December 18
- Heavy to intense rain, with at times torrential rain – Central Visayas, Western Visayas, Palawan including Calamian, Cuyo, and Cagayancillo Islands
- Moderate to heavy rain, with at times intense rain – Bicol, Zamboanga Peninsula, Quezon, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Marinduque, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, rest of Visayas
- Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain – Caraga, southern part of Aurora, rest of Northern Mindanao
Early Saturday morning, December 18, until early Sunday morning, December 19
- Heavy to torrential rain – Kalayaan Islands
- Light to moderate rain, with at times heavy rain – mainland Palawan, Calamian Islands
Scattered to widespread floods and landslides are expected.
In terms of winds, here are the areas where tropical cyclone wind signals are raised as of 5 am on Thursday:
Signal No. 3 (destructive typhoon-force winds)
- Southern Leyte
- southern part of Leyte (Abuyog, Mahaplag, Baybay City, Inopacan, Hindang, Hilongos, Bato, Matalom, Javier)
- eastern part of Cebu (Lapu-Lapu City, Cordova, Carmen, Danao City, Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, Mandaue City, Cebu City, Talisay City, Minglanilla, Naga City, San Fernando) including Camotes Islands
- Dinagat Islands
- Surigao del Norte
- northern part of Agusan del Norte (Tubay, Santiago, Jabonga, Kitcharao)
- northern part of Surigao del Sur (Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen, Lanuza, Cortes)
Signal No. 2 (damaging gale- to storm-force winds)
- mainland Masbate
- Ticao Island
- Cuyo Islands
- Northern Samar
- Eastern Samar
- rest of Leyte
- rest of Cebu including Bantayan Islands
- Negros Oriental
- Negros Occidental
- rest of Surigao del Sur
- rest of Agusan del Norte
- Agusan del Sur
- northern part of Bukidnon (Malitbog, Impasug-ong, Manolo Fortich)
- Misamis Oriental
- extreme northern part of Misamis Occidental (Sapang Dalaga, Baliangao, Plaridel, Calamba, Lopez Jaena, Oroquieta City)
- extreme northern part of Zamboanga del Norte (Dipolog City, Dapitan City, Sibutad, Rizal)
Signal No. 1 (strong winds)
- Camarines Norte
- Camarines Sur
- Burias Island
- southern part of Quezon (San Antonio, Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya, Dolores, Lucena City, Pagbilao, Padre Burgos, Atimonan, Agdangan, Unisan, Gumaca, Plaridel, Pitogo, Lopez, Guinayangan, Buenavista, Catanauan, General Luna, Macalelon, Mulanay, San Narciso, San Andres, San Francisco, Tagkawayan, Calauag, Quezon, Alabat, Tayabas City, Perez)
- Oriental Mindoro
- Occidental Mindoro
- northern and central parts of Palawan (San Vicente, Roxas, Taytay, Dumaran, Araceli, El Nido, Puerto Princesa City, Quezon, Narra, Sofronio Española, Aborlan) including Calamian, Cagayancillo, and Kalayaan Islands
- northern part of Davao Oriental (Baganga, Cateel, Boston)
- the northern part of Davao de Oro (Laak, Mawab, Nabunturan, Montevista, Monkayo, New Bataan, Compostela)
- northern part of Davao del Norte (Talaingod, Santo Tomas, Kapalong, Asuncion, San Isidro, New Corella)
- rest of Misamis Occidental
- rest of Bukidnon
- Lanao del Norte
- Lanao del Sur
- northern part of Zamboanga del Norte (Labason, Kalawit, Tampilisan, Liloy, Salug, Godod, Bacungan, Sindangan, Siayan, Jose Dalman, Manukan, President Manuel A. Roxas, Katipunan, Sergio Osmeña Sr., Polanco, Piñan, Mutia, La Libertad, Gutalac, Baliguian)
- northern part of Zamboanga del Sur (Bayog, Lakewood, Kumalarang, Guipos, Mahayag, Dumalinao, Tukuran, Tambulig, Ramon Magsaysay, Aurora, Molave, Sominot, Tigbao, Labangan, Josefina, Pagadian City, Midsalip, Dumingag)
- northern part of Zamboanga Sibugay (Titay, Ipil, Naga, Kabasalan, Siay, Diplahan, Buug)
PAGASA also warned that there is a “moderate to high risk” of storm surges up to 3 meters high which might cause floods “in the low-lying coastal areas of Central Visayas, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Eastern Samar, Southern Leyte, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and several localities in the northern portion of Palawan including Calamian, Cuyo, and Cagayancillo Islands, Antique, Camiguin, Leyte, Agusan del Norte, and Davao Oriental.”
On Thursday, moderate to very high seas are expected in seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone wind signals. Waves are estimated to be 1.2 to 10 meters high, making travel risky for all types of vessels.
Coastal waters not under any tropical cyclone wind signal in the seaboards of Northern Luzon and in the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon are also under a gale warning due to the typhoon and the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan. Seas are rough to very rough, with waves 2.8 to 4.5 meters high.
The remaining seaboards of the Philippines not under any wind signal will have moderate to rough seas. Waves are 1.2 to 3.1 meters high and conditions are risky for small vessels.
After its projected initial landfall on Thursday afternoon, Odette is seen to cross several provinces in Central Visayas and Western Visayas before emerging over the Sulu Sea on Friday morning, December 17.
Then it could pass near or in the vicinity of Cuyo or Cagayancillo and cross the northern or central part of Palawan on Friday afternoon or evening before finally exiting landmass toward the West Philippine Sea.
PAGASA said Odette may slightly weaken as it crosses northeastern Mindanao, the Visayas, and Palawan, but it will remain a typhoon. It is also likely to reintensify over the West Philippine Sea.
The typhoon could start to weaken again on Sunday, December 19, however, as it “becomes exposed to increasing vertical wind shear and the surge of the northeast monsoon,” the weather bureau said. By this time, it would already be outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
Odette may leave PAR on Saturday afternoon, December 18.
Odette is the Philippines’ 15th tropical cyclone for 2021. Around 20 form within or enter PAR 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