Typhoon Yolanda, Public storm warning signal no. 1 has been hoisted over several areas after Typhoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) gained more strength and entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility, the state weather agency said Wednesday night.
As of 12 a.m., PAGASA said Yolanda was located at 943 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur bearing maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 230 kph.
The 24th typhoon to hit the country this year is expected to move west northwest at 30 kph.
Thirteen areas in the Visayas and Mindanao have been placed under storm signal no. 1:
Surigao Del Norte
Surigao Del Sur
Agusan Del Norte
Northern part of Agusan Del Sur
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PAGASA said heavy to intense rainfall (10 to 30 millimeter per hour) is expected within the 600-kilometer diameter of the typhoon.
A rainfall advisory issued at 12:33 a.m., Thursday said moderate to occasional heavy rains are already affecting Surigao Del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Zamboanga City and Basilan.
The state weather bureau has warned that Yolanda can still intensify since it is still on sea.
The agency said Yolanda is even more powerful than the deadly Typhoon Pablo that slammed Mindanao last year.
International weather agencies have already labelled Yolanda as a super typhoon, though PAGASA is not officially using such category.
PAGASA had said in previous forecasts that Yolanda is expected to make landfall on Friday over Eastern Visayas or Samar-Leyte area and then barrel through the Visayas.
The typhoon is expected to be at 423 kilometers east Southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar by tomorrow evening and at 55 kilometers southeast of Romblon Island by Friday evening.
By Saturday evening, it is expected to be at 527 kilometers west northwest of Coron, Palawan.