By: Weatherguy Adonis
Typhoon hits Southern Chinese Coast, alerts up; Flood-stricken Filipinos pick up the pieces amid growing concerns of more storms
Iloilo City, Philippines, 17 August 2012, (0400Z)–In the advance of Category 1 Typhoon 14W “KAI-TAK” hitting land in the Western Guangdong coast of Shenzen and Xuwen Counties, the local officials there have been preparing for the worst of the storm. Ferry services were already being cancelled between Shenzen and Macao and Hong Kong early Thursday, to include Zhuhai on Friday, according to a Chinese local newspaper, Shenzen Daily. International flights were also being cancelled due to bad weather, these are scheduled flights to the Philippines and other key Southeast Asian cities. Domestic routes from Shenzen International to Hainan, Sanya, Haikou and Zhanjiang were also being held. Railway services have also suspended their booking for their high-speed trains and bullet trains between Shenzen and Guangzhou. Hong Kong Observatory issued local warnings for heavy rains and gale-force wind warnings (45-70 km/hr) under Signal No. 3, for Typhoon 14W “KAI-TAK” affecting some departures and arrivals in Chek Lap Kok International in Hong Kong.
Thirteen (13), not a lucky number
Across the Western Pacific Basin, “Kai-Tak” was considered the thirteenth (13th) Tropical Cyclone of the year, and the second Typhoon to have hit the Southern Chinese Province of Guangdong this year just after Typhoon “Vicente,” last July. Coastal areas are now being cleared of sea crafts up to the Pearl River Delta where local authorities and the China Meteorological Agency (CMA) expects rainfall totals that could reach of up to 500 mm flooding rains within the next 12 hrs in the light of the approaching tempest of storms.
The agency also issued warnings on the coastal communities to shore up their sea defenses as coastal beach erosion are possible and avoid venturing out to sea, clear the coast and relocate to higher grounds as storm surges of up to 2.1 m can be expected especially near the landfall area within Leizhou Peninsula. Oil platform workers in offshore drilling areas have already been evacuated according to Xinhua News Agency.
Wicked weather, man-made disaster; Worse not over
The month of August was considered the most challenging chapter in the country’s history of the 21st Century that is in relation to the massive flooding that has drenched the most populous city of fifteen million (15-M) people–Manila and suburbs where millions literally were affected by the immense rainfall that engulfed countless dwellings and businesses, and has taken the lives of one-hundred nine (109) people in the course of the tw0 (2)-week long “Monsoon rains,” popularly referred to as the “Southwest Monsoon,” a.k.a “Habagat” in Filipino. There had been humongous concerns of the ongoing disaster that dated back through the later part of July. It was Typhoon “SAOLA,” locally tagged as “GENER” that has greatly induced the surging monsoonal flow from the West Philippine Sea for almost a week, ending 04 August 2012, where much of the coastal areas of Manila Bay expelled much debris and solid wastes back on land, and caused the coastal flooding, where the sea meets land for hours during the astronomical tides of 1.9 m coupled with the storm water raging from the mountainous systems up North, through the Pasig River and the Marikina River, swamping several cities of CAMANAVA, and a lot more. Parts of Pasay City and the Roxas Boulevard in Manila’s urban zones, to include the US Embassy and top business strip, were also reached by the rising tides affecting thousands more in the forthcoming days of inundation–the culprit: crazy 1.8 m total of rainfall for the past week alone.
It seemed the worse wasn’t over, and another farther storm that followed Typhoon “SAOLA,” enter Typhoon “HAIKUI,” that came crashing along the Eastern coast of China, reaching the Southern edges of Shanghai–the ultimate storm that pulled the monsoonal flow ever stronger that led to the epic deluge across Western sections of Central Luzon, the National Capital Region (NCR) and Southern Tagalog Regions.
Right now, there have been areas still flooded to their ceilings, areas in Bulacan and Laguna were gravely affected by the swelling of the Laguna de Bay, where much of their livelihoods have been wiped out and officials say the worst part is yet to come as the lake doesn’t reach its normal water levels until the next three to four (3-4) months into the future.
Flashfloods hit Luzon anew, conflicting landfall time
Pampanga and Zambales are also reeling from the effects of surging flashfloods, to include the additional heavy rains spawned by the recent passage of Tropical Storm “14W/KAI-TAK,” named locally as “HELEN,” on 14-15 August 2012, where more than 750 mm of rainfall has fallen for the last 48 hrs in the Northern territories of Isabela, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Sur, Pangasinan and Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR), to include flooded mountainous region of Baguio City, where massive torrents of rushing flash floods crashed into portions of the city, killing people along its immediate path where drowning and electrocution were amounted to be the cause of fatalities, not to mention the destroyed landscapes, and heavily eroded mountainsides. Some witnesses didn’t thought it would be that destructive at all, recounting their horror blaming partly the lack of adequate weather advisories by the state weather bureau, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Services Administration (PAGASA) and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)-Office of Civil Defense (OCD).
Just to take this upfront, PAGASA and NDRRMC never failed to warn the people of the impending ill-effects of the Tropical Storm, but what I have been surreptitiously more concerned of is that the inadequacy in real-time plotting and more importantly the forecasting of the landfall of Tropical Storm “14W/KAI-TAK,” “HELEN” along Northeastern Divilacan Bay in Northern Isabela coast on 2100Z (0500AM-PHL), 15 August 2012.
I will provide a separate analysis on this on my next article.
Several Luzon hydroelectric dams: Ipo, Magat, Angat, Ambuklao, La Mesa to name a few are also compounding the issue of rising water levels along the catch basin areas in Pampanga, Bulacan and portions of Manila and Quezon City. Badly hit was still in Laguna de Bay areas.
Historically, the month of August is the peak of Typhoons in a given year. Add up to the injury most of the Filipinos have to put up beyond a brave face–there are more Typhoons underway until December.
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This has been your Weatherguy hailing from the Philippines. Mabuhay and see you later! To God Almighty be the Glory!