Philippines: Tropical Storm Nock-Ten Information Bulletin (24 December 2016)

Situation Report
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This bulletin is being issued for information only, and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. After the typhoon’s landfall, and based on assessments, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will determine whether external support is required.

The situation

Tropical Storm Nock-Ten (locally known as Nina) entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) at 0300H (Manila time) on 23 December 2016. As of 11am on 24 December, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported that Nock-Ten had intensified into a Typhoon and is expected to intensify further before it makes landfall in the afternoon or evening of 25 December. The summary details from PAGAS are as follows:

  • Location of eye/center: At 1000H on 24 December, the eye of Typhoon "NINA" was located based on all available data at 480 km East of Virac, Catanduanes (13.0 °N, 128.6 °E)

  • Strength: Maximum sustained winds of 150 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph (Typhoon Category 1, 119-153kph).

  • Forecast Movement: The typhoon has slowed considerably from 25kph yesterday to 15kph in the morning of 24 December. The track remains a general West Northwest direction.

  • Landfall: It is expected to make landfall over Catanduanes in the afternoon or evening of 25 December. Catanduanes is an island province off the coast of Bicol Region. The Mayor of Virac, capital of Catanduanes province, has also declared a state of “imminent danger,” authorizing municipal officials to make cash advances to purchase supplies to beef up their emergency food stockpile.

  • Rainfall: Estimated rainfall is from moderate to heavy rains within its 400 km diameter of the typhoon.

  • Exit: Nock-Ten is expected to exit PAR on 28 December.

  • Analysis: The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre (JTWC) predicts the Typhoon will intensify further before making landfall and peak at a Category 4 (209-251kph) as it tracks north of the Bicol Region coast in the evening of 24 December. As the typhoon interacts with the landmass the JTWC predicts it will weaken to a Category 2 (154-177kph) before it crosses the actual landmass on 25 December. The Typhoon is predicted to cross Metro Manila in the evening of 25 December. Manila is the most densely populated and one of the most the low lying areas of the Philippines.

Rainfall is estimated to be moderate to heavy within 400km of the typhoons eye. Aside from the Bicol Region, there will also be stormy weather in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, and Northern Samar between 25 and 26 December. There is a risk of flooding for low-lying areas in the Bicol region, Southern Luzon, Central Luzon and Metro Manila.

Some weather stations are predicting 156mm of rain over Metro Manila on 26 December (the maximum December monthly average for Metro Manila is less than 100mm and its annual peak is about 375mm of rainfall). Hence, flooding in low lying areas is expected. It should be noted that Caloocan, Malabon, Navotas and Valenzuela are areas within Metro Manila that are highly prone to flooding.

Open sea wave heights are 1.25 to 4 meters, with PAGASA also warning against sea travel over the seaboards of northern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon, southern Luzon, and the Visayas. PAGASA also warned that storm surges are possible in coastal areas in Bicol, Samar, and Quezon.

As well as a potential humanitarian impact, Nock-Ten will disrupt travel plans of thousands of people – who travel back to their provinces during the festive period – as bus lines, sea lines and air lines will be forced to cancel trips owing to safety concerns and mandatory travel advisories.