Amang hits Samar; Metro Manila now under storm signal
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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Storm Amang (Mekkhala) has made landfall in Dolores, Eastern Samar on Saturday, January 17, and is now crossing Northern Samar, state weather bureau PAGASA said.
As of 4 pm, Amang's center was located 60 km north northeast of Borongan, Eastern Samar, carrying maximum winds of 100 km/h near the center and gusts of up to 130 km/h, the bureau said.
Public storm warning signal number 2, where winds of up to 61-100 km/h is expected within 24 hours, have been raised in the following areas:
- Camarines Sur
- Camarines Norte
- Southern Quezon Incl. Polillo Island
- Northern Samar
- Eastern Samar
Meanwhile, signal number 1, where winds 30-60 km/h are expected in 36 hours, has been raised in:
- Metro Manila
- Nueva Ecija
- Rest of Quezon
- Oriental Mindoro
- Southern Leyte
- Extreme Northern Cebu Incl. Bantayan Island and Camotes Island
The raising of a storm signal over Metro Manila comes a day before a public outdoor mass to be given by Pope Francis in Quirino Grandstand, Manila.
Around 6 million people are expected to attend the last major event of the pontiff's visit to the country.
Amang is moving northwest at a speed of 19 km/h, and is forecast by PAGASA to be moving just east of Luzon, skirting Bicol, in the following days.
In areas with storm signals, PAGASA warned residents in low lying and mountainous areas against possible flashfloods and landslides. Ocean waves may also reach up to 9 meters within the diameter of the storm.
"Fisherfolks and those with small seacrafts are advised not to venture out over seaboards of Luzon, Visayas and the eastern seaboard of Mindanao," PAGASA said.
Other weather stations have upgraded Amang to a typhoon.
The US Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) detected winds with speeds of 111 km/h to 139 km/h.
The Japan Meteorological Agency also calls Mekkhala a typhoon recording wind speeds of 120 km/h to 176 km/h.
The 3 weather stations forecast different tracks for Amang.
The PAGASA track shows it skirting the eastern shores of Visayas and Luzon.
The JTWC and JMA tracks predict Amang will move northwestward passing directly over Metro Manila before leaving the Philippine landmass.
The next PAGASA bulletin on Amang will be issued 11 pm Saturday. – Rappler.com