Typhoon Bopha (26W) - Update 5
What are the current conditions?
Authorities and disaster managers are on high alert with current predictions that Typhoon Bopha will pass directly over the main islands of Palau as a Category 5 tropical cyclone with the potential for catastrophic damage. This is an extremely dangerous system with very destructive winds.
Typhoon Bopha is expected to continue moving toward the west-northwest at a speed of 26 km per hour. The forecast track takes Typhoon Bopha south of Ngulu (Yap State, Federated States of Micronesia) and across the islands of Palau from Kayangel in the north to Angaur in the south.
It is expected that Typhoon Bopha will pass over the islands of Palau at 1 or 2 am Monday, 3 December local time (16:00 GMT, Sunday, 2 December).
A Typhoon Warning remains in place for Palau. A Typhoon Watch remains in effect for Ngulu in Yap State in the Federated States of Micronesia.
At noon today the National Emergency Management Office in Palau issue a Condition 1 Readiness Warning this afternoon meaning that typhoon force winds can hit the islands within 12 hours.
The public has been advised to tune in to radio and television stations for emergency information and instructions as well as stock their emergency supplies. Over 45 typhoon evacuation centers have opened. Patients have been evacuated from the main hospital in Koror. A US Navy vessel arrived in Koror 1 December and is on standby to assist when requested. Tentative measures have been put in place for a post Bopha aerial assessment of Palau if needed.
What are the likely effects caused by Typhoon Bopha?
A Category 5 tropical cyclone is classed as extremely dangerous with widespread destruction. Typhoon Bopha is forecast to be a very destructive system with winds of 231 km per hour near the centre and gusts of 286 km per hour.
Depending on tides, a storm surge of 5 meters is possible. Storm surge is a raised dome of water about 60 – 80 km across. If the surge occurs at the same time as a high tide then the area of inundation can be quite extensive, particularly along low lying-coastlines such as those in Palau.
What countries will be affected?
Countries likely to be affected are Palau and to a lesser extent Federated States of Micronesia. Once Typhoon Bopha has passed over Palau (2010 est population: 20,503), forecasts show that it will track towards the Philippines where emergency preparedness measures are being put in place.
BoM Tropical Cyclone Intensity and Impacts: http://www.bom.gov.au/cyclone/about/intensity.shtml#WindC
GDACS Alert: http://www.gdacs.org/report.aspx?eventid=33913&episodeid=17&eventtype=TC HurricaneZone.net: http://www.hurricanezone.net/westpacific/advisories.php
Infrared Satellite Image: http://www.goes.noaa.gov/guam/GUAMCOL.JPG
Japan Meteorological Agency Tropical Cyclone Updates: http://www.jma.go.jp/en/typh/
Joint Typhoon Warning Centre: http://www.usno.navy.mil/JTWC/
Typhoon Bopha Local Statement: http://www.prh.noaa.gov/data/GUM/HLSPQ1
Weather Philippines: http://weather.com.ph/announcements/typhoon-bopha-26w-update-number-017
Water Vapor Satellite Image: http://www.goes.noaa.gov/guam/GUAMWV.JPG
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.