'Quiel' slightly weakens after hitting N. Luzon

Posted on October 02, 2011

TYPHOON QUIEL (international code name: Nalgae) on Saturday has slightly weakened after it traversed northern Luzon, the state weather bureau said in its latest report.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said as of 4 p.m. on Saturday, the eye of the typhoon was at 40 km north-northeast of Baguio City, with maximum sustained winds of 150 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph. It is forecast to move further west at 26 kph.

The state weather bureau lowered storm signals for the affected provinces, with only four placed under storm signal number 3, namely; Ilocos Sur, La Union, Benguet and Pangasinan.

Placed under storm signal number 2 are Ilocos Norte, Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales and Pampanga, while those under storm signal number 1 are Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, northern Quezon including Polillo Island, Rizal, Cavite, Bataan, Bulacan and Metro Manila.

PAGASA added that typhoon Quiel is expected to be at 590 km west of Baguio City by Sunday afternoon.

While the storm continues to weaken, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has issued flood warnings in the low-lying areas of Tarlac and Pangasinan as the Agno River basin and allied rivers swell due to heavy rainfall earlier in the day.

In Tarlac, flood is expected to occur in San Manuel, Tarlac City, Gerona, Paniqui, Moncada, Sta Ignacia and Camiling, while in Pangasinan, the towns of Sta Barbara, Calasiao, Binmaley, Binalonan, Malasiqui, Dagupan, Urdaneta, Mangaldan, Mapandan, San Fabian, San Jacinto, Laoac, Manaoag, Sison and Pozorrubio may be flooded as two gates of the San Roque Dam will be opened to release excess water, causing water levels of the Agno River and its tributaries to rise.

Quiel is the fifth storm to enter the country this month. Storms that develop between September and October tend to be the strongest as the country's weather shifts from southwest to northeast monsoon.