37 areas in Luzon, Visayas under storm signal warnings

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    STORM signal warnings were raised yesterday in 37 areas in Luzon and the Visayas, including Metro Manila, as severe tropical storm “Ulysses” was forecast to make landfall in the Bicol region or Quezon province.

    Weather specialist Ariel Roxas said Ulysses may make a landfall in the northern part of Bicol this afternoon or evening or in eastern part of Quezon on Thursday morning.

    “This may go near or directly hit Metro Manila on Thursday,” Roxas said in a press briefing, adding Ulysses may further strengthen into a typhoon today.

    PAGASA administrator Vicente Malana said Ulysses will affect areas that were hit by recent super typhoon “Rolly” and typhoon “Quinta.”

    “Let us be very vigilant because we expect to to pass through the areas affected by Quinta and Rolly. We know that soil in these areas is already saturated with water,” said Malana.

    Quinta flooded many areas in the Calabarzon region and left 27 people dead. Rolly battered the Bicol region and left 25 dead and about P17.7 billion in damage to infrastructure and agriculture.

    As of 7 p.m. yesterday, the center of Ulysses was some 425 km east Daet, Camarines Sur, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA). Ulysses was moving west northwestward at 30 kph, packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 115 kph.

    Placed under signal No. 2 were the central and southern portions of Quezon including Polillo Islands, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Burias and Ticao Islands, and Marinduque.

    Under signal No 1 were Moutain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, central and southern portions of Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Bulacan, Zambales, Bataan, Metro Manila, rest of Quezon, Rizal, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, rest of Masbate, Romblon, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island, Northern Samar, northern portion of Samar, and the northern portion of Eastern Samar.

    Roxas said Ulysses is forecast to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Friday afternoon.

    PAGASA said Ulysses may intensity into a severe tropical storm Tuesday night night and into a typhoon this morning. – With Noel Talacay