Asia has seen a lot of rough weather over the last two weeks, and it’s not going to get much better. In mid-July, Typhoon Vicente slammed Hong Kong, causing injuries and damage and disrupting the business day. This week it’s Typhoon Saola causing flooding, evacuations and deaths in the Philippines. The giant typhoon is making its way up to Taiwan and China and should reach them by the August 2nd, 2012.
Saola Hits Philippines Hard
Typhoon Saola started as a low pressure system off the Philippines on July 27th, 2012. As of July 30th, the large typhoon was centered south of Taiwan, but the typhoon’s reach extends over the north and central Philippines. Public storm warning signal #1 is active in the Apayao, Isabela, and Kalinga provinces of Luzon, while Public Storm Warning Signal #2 is in effect in Cagayan and the Babuyan and Calayan islands. The typhoon warnings mean that there is potential for flooding due to increased rainfall.
Understanding Philippine Public Storm Warnings
Philippine Public Storm Warnings range from 1 to 4, with one being the least severe, and 4 being the most severe. Each warning level anticipates a certain windspeed and degree of damage from the storm. Level 2 storms, such as the storms expected in the Cagayan, Babuyan, and Calayan islands, are expected to have winds of greater than 60 kph and up to 100 kph.
Typhoon Damage and Evacuations in the Philippines
The storm is being blamed for four deaths in the Philippines. Dangerous seas and flooding have closed roads and bridges, and riverside communities are evacuating. 2 million people in Manila lost power and 13,000 people were evacuated as rainfall reached 0.8 inches an hour. The storm will continue to increase the rainfall and storms caused by the southwest monsoon, and the waters around the West, East, and North Philippine Seas will be rough.
Saola Moving Up to Taiwan and Mainland China
What’s next for Saola? The typhoon is approaching Taiwan, and if it continues moving northwest, the typhoon will bring strong wind, rain and rough seas to Taiwan on Wednesday, August 2nd. Saola is expected to become more intense before Wednesday. If the typhoon continues moving on its projected path, on August 3rd, Typhoon Saola will make landfall in mainland China.
BBC News. Tropical Storm Saola Causes Flooding the Philippines. (2012). Accessed July 30, 2012.
NASA. Typhoon Saola. (2012). Accessed July 30, 2012.
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical & Astronomical Services Administration. The Philippine Public Storm Warning Signals. (2012). Accessed July 30, 2012.