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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Philippines may be spared direct hit

Two high pressure systems are acting to steer Typhoon Lupit away from a direct strike on Luzon Island. AccuWeather is reporting that it appears that Lupit will veer to the north and miss the northern Philippine Island.

Lupit to Miss Philippines But Still Cause Flooding (AccuWeather)

The worst impact of Typhoon Lupit now looks set to miss the storm-ravaged north of the Philippines. Lupit is expected to veer northward and thus spare Luzon the worst of its destructive wind, though flooding rain and locally damaging winds are still expected over northern Luzon.

Thursday morning, EDT, the center of Lupit was 350 miles northeast of Manila with a westerly drift at 6 mph. Highest sustained winds were near 75 mph -- still those of a Category 1 storm, yet far below last weekend's Category-4 winds of then-Super Typhoon Lupit.

Lupit will continue to drift to the north and east of Luzon Island over the Philippine Sea over the next day or two as the area of high pressure that has been steering Lupit has weakened. This area of high pressure is expected to regain strength over the weekend and will cause Lupit to veer northeastward and thus away from the Philippines, rather than making a potentially devastating westward transit of northern Luzon.

The strengthening of the high over the western Pacific is expected to pull the storm towards the north and into Taiwan. Additionally, as the high over south China was acting as a block preventing any northward movement. As this high weakens, there will be nothing preventing Lupit from initially drifting and then driving northward.

Even with the center of the storm missing landfall, the potential for flooding remains very high. Heavy rain associated with the outer bands of the storm are currently coming ashore and will continue to do so for the next day or two until Lupit moves out of the Philippines area of responsibility. The islands are already being affected by the storm surge and rising waters from this storm, which is known as "Typhoon Ramil" locally.

Rising sea levels, brownouts mark coming of ‘Ramil’ (GMA News.TV)
Rising sea level that forced the evacuation of 65 families and power interruptions heralded the coming of typhoon "Ramil" (international name Lupit) in Cagayan Valley, the National Disaster Coordinating Council said Thursday night.

In its 6 p.m. report, the NDCC said some 65 families or 182 people were evacuated after a 20-meter seawall collapsed in San Antonio village in Aparri town Tuesday. The evacuees included 41 from Maura village and 24 from San Antonio village.

Sixteen families were preemptively evacuated from Pilig Abajo village in Cabagan town in Isabela province to the town gymnasium.

The NDCC also noted unscheduled power interruptions in areas managed by the Cagayan Electric Cooperative since 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

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