By Patricia Denise M. Chiu
INQUIRER.NET/Asia News Network
Severe Tropical Storm “Kammuri” intensified into a typhoon on Thursday and was expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility by Saturday or Sunday, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
Games venues will be wet
Once it blows into the Philippines, the typhoon will be renamed “Tisoy,” Pagasa said.
The weather service said the typhoon could make landfall in Southern Luzon by Tuesday and it would dump heavy rain on most of the region, including Metro Manila and Central Luzon, where the venues for the SEA Games are located.
The Games open at Philippine Arena in Bulacan province on Saturday.
Pagasa said it was coordinating with the Games organizers for weather updates, especially for competition venues that are in the typhoon’s path.
The Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (Phisgoc) said on Thursday it was readying a contingency plan.
“We are prepared for that, like in my cluster, Subic, we will meet [on Friday] with all venue managers to discuss the plan,” Phisgoc executive director Tom Carrasco said.
“There are sports where rains don’t matter, but we will make contingency plans just in case the weather gets worse,” he said.
As of 3 p.m. on Thursday, Kammuri was 1,425 kilometers east of the Visayas, moving northwest at 10 km per hour with maximum sustained winds of 130 kph and gustiness of up to 160 kph.
Pagasa weather forecaster Raymond Ordinario said Kammuri was “still intensifying,” as it was over water.
It could develop into a supertyphoon, although the chances of that happening were slim, according to Ordinario.
When Kammuri enters the Philippines, its outer rainbands will bring scattered rain and thunderstorms in the Bicol region and Eastern Visayas.
Landfall in Bicol or Aurora
Ordinario said the typhoon was expected to hit land in the Bicol region or Aurora province by Tuesday.
Pagasa warned of possible flash floods in low-lying areas in Bicol, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley and Metro Manila.
The weather service advised residents of mountainous areas in Bicol, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Central Luzon and Cagayan Valley to watch out for landslides.