What are the current conditions?
Authorities and disaster managers are on high alert with current predictions that Tropical Storm Bopha (TS Bopha) will pass close to Palau as a Category 4 tropical cyclone with the potential for a significant impact.
As of this morning, TS Bopha remains a Category 2 tropical cyclone with maximum winds averaging 93 km near the centre.
This morning’s satellite imagery shows that the system is becoming better organized and is continuing to intensify.
TS Bopha is moving steadily westwards at 17 km per hour. It is expected to make a slight turn to the west-northwest this evening.
Forecasts state that the centre of the system will pass close to the main islands of Palau on Sunday evening or Monday morning. At this time, TS Bopha is forecast to be a strong Category 4 tropical cyclone with winds averaging 185 km near the centre. A Category 4 tropical cyclone can cause significant structural damage to houses and buildings, dangerous airborne debris and widespread power failures.
A Typhoon Watch (maximum sustained winds greater than 135 km per hour) remains in place for Woleai in the Federated States of Micronesia. A Tropical Storm Watch (maximum sustained winds between 72 – 135 km per hour) remains in place for Feraulep in the Federated States of Micronesia. Given the current forecast track, the Federated States of Micronesia will not be at significant risk.
In preparation for the coming storm, Palau has requested assistance from the US Construction and Civic Action Detail (CCAD) Team, consisting of the US Mobile Construction Battalion 74 (“SeaBees:”).
The following states in Palau are likely to be affected:
Northern States: Kayangel and Ngarchelong East-Coast States: Ngaraard, Ngiwal, Melekeok and Ngchesar Koror: Koror and Airai South and West-Coast States: Peleliu, Angaur, Sonsorol, Tobi,
Ngaremlengui, Ngardmau, Aimeliik and Ngatpack The National Emergency Management Office in Palau issued a Public Announcement yesterday requesting that the public stock their emergency supplies such as food and water for three days, portable radios with spare batteries, flashlights, first aid kits, secure valuable documents, personal hygiene products etc.
The public was also advised to start cleaning around their houses, secure loose items that may fly away and cause damage, board up windows, trim tree branches that can fall and damage homes, fill up vehicles with gas, secure boats and assist their communities in preparing.
The National Emergency Committee in Palau is expected to open typhoon shelters, close schools and release noncritical patients from hospital today. The National Emergency Management Office is holding regular coordination meetings and will be issuing more emergency information bulletins as the system nears Palau.
What are the likely effects caused by Tropical Storm Bopha?
In Palau, winds will start to increase across the archipelago to gale force on Sunday afternoon and continue to increase significantly after sunset on Sunday evening. The winds will initially come from the east-northeast then shift northeast to northerly prior to the arrival of the centre of the system.
Yap State in the Federated States of Micronesia may experience gusty winds and some heavy rain tonight and tomorrow.
However, conditions are unlikely to be especially dangerous. Some local flash flooding may be possible.
What countries will be affected?
Countries likely to be affected are Palau and to a lesser extent Yap and Chuuk States of the Federated States of Micronesia.
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/ Weather Philippines: http://weather.com.ph/announcements/tropical-storm-bopha-26w-update-number-011 Water Vapor Satellite Image: http://www.goes.noaa.gov/guam/GUAMWV.JPG For more information, please contact:
Jo McIntosh, Public Information Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: (+679) 331 7326.
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