'Threat increases' as Typhoon Tisoy nears Northern Samar, Albay, Sorsogon

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MANILA, Philippines – The threat from Typhoon Tisoy (Kammuri) increased early Monday afternoon, December 2, as it moved closer toward the area of Northern Samar, Albay, and Sorsogon.

In a briefing past 2 pm on Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Tisoy is already 140 kilometers east northeast of Catarman, Northern Samar, or 195 kilometers east of Juban, Sorsogon.

It slightly slowed down, moving west at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 25 km/h.

The typhoon still has maximum winds of 150 km/h and gustiness of up to 185 km/h. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Tisoy is now expected to make landfall in Albay, Sorsogon, or Northern Samar between Monday evening and early Tuesday morning, December 3. Catanduanes was previously included as among the possible areas of landfall.

But PAGASA Weather Specialist Benison Estareja said they are not ruling out the possibility that the typhoon could make landfall in the southern tip of Catanduanes. (READ: Typhoon Kammuri track may be like Glenda in 2014, Reming in 2006)

The list of tropical cyclone wind signals was again updated:

Signal No. 3 (winds of 121 km/h to 170 km/h)

Signal No. 2 (winds of 61 km/h to 120 km/h)

Signal No. 1 (winds of 30 km/h to 60 km/h)

PAGASA added that there may be gusty conditions in areas in Northern Luzon that are not under any tropical cyclone wind signal, due to the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan.

The state weather bureau maintained the following rainfall outlook for Tisoy:

Until Monday afternoon, December 2

Between Monday afternoon, December 2, and Tuesday noontime, December 3

Between Tuesday noontime, December 3, and Wednesday noontime, December 4

PAGASA warned that floods may hit low-lying areas in Bicol, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley, and Metro Manila.

There could also be landslides in mountainous areas of Bicol, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Central Luzon, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Cagayan Valley.

Storm surges are also possible in certain coastal areas of these provinces:

More than 3 meters high

1 to 3 meters high

Travel is also risky, especially for small vessels, in the seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone wind signals, the seaboards of Northern Luzon, the western seaboard of Palawan, the central seaboards of the Visayas, and the northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao.

Classes were suspended in many areas for Monday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Monday, December 2, 2019)

The typhoon also prompted schedule adjustments to be made for some events of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, which the Philippines is hosting until December 11. Some events were moved to an earlier time, while others were postponed.

Based on its latest forecast track, Tisoy is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday morning, December 5.

Forecast track of Typhoon Tisoy (Kammuri) as of December 2, 2019, 2 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Tisoy is the Philippines' 20th tropical cyclone for 2019. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually. In the earlier part of the year, only 14 to 18 tropical cyclones had been projected since 2019 is an El Niño year.

For the month of December, PAGASA had been expecting 0 to 1 tropical cyclone.

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 14. – Rappler.com

Acor Arceo

Acor Arceo is the head of copy and editorial standards at Rappler. Trained in both online and TV newsrooms, Acor supervises Rappler’s coverage of disasters, handles the business desk, and ensures consistency in editorial standards across all sections.