Typhoon Haiyan, to be locally named Yolanda, is getting closer to the Philippine Area of Responsibility. - Photo by PAGASA
Typhoon Haiyan, to be locally named Yolanda, is getting closer to the Philippine Area of Responsibility. – Photo by PAGASA

MANILA —The typhoon “Haiyan” continues to move closer to the Philippines and is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) Wednesday midnight and will be named “Yolanda”. It continues to move westward according to the state weather bureau Wednesday morning.

Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said that typhoon “Haiyan” is now traveling at faster speed of 30 kph (from the previous 20 kph).

Moreover, PAGASA made forecast that the approaching typhoon will make its landfall in Samar on Friday. It would affect the Visayas and parts of Luzon and Mindanao.

Last observed 1,560 kilometers east of Mindanao, “Haiyan” has maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 150 kph.

It continued to rapidly intensify for the past 24 hours from 102 kph to 194 kph. PAGASA expects the typhoon to intensify more and will reach super typhoon status before hitting the Philippines.

Moreover, rains trigger by “Haiyan” could exceed eight inches, causing mudslides and flash floods, weather forecasters warned.

PAGASA notes that Haiyan may be as strong as Typhoon Pablo which hit the country last year.

The typhoon is also expected to bring widespread torrential rain and damaging winds that might leave destruction and life-threatening flash floods.

Meanwhile, according to PAGASA through its 5 am bulletin, the whole country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with light rains over the regions of Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, Ilocos and Central Luzon while Metro Manila and the rest of the country will have isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms mostly over the eastern section.

Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Luzon and Western Visayas and the coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough. Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the northeast to north with slight to moderate seas.

Blue Alert upon Haiyan’s arrival

Nine regions, including the recently quake-devastated Bohol province, were already put under blue alert as it braces for the typhoon Haiyan, which is expected to reach its super typhoon status before making its projected landfall on Friday morning.

The nine regions under blue alert are Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Central, Eastern and Western Visayas, Bicol region, Southern Tagalog region, and Metro Manila. (Mary Sharmaine I. Gabornes, ABCom/LNU)