BAGUIO CITY — Be prepared for another Yolanda-like typhoon to hit the country this year.
This was the warning aired by the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Service Administration (Pagasa) as it marked Disaster Preparedness Month with a press conference in the Cordillera Autonomous Region (CAR) July 1.
According to Engr. Hilario Esparanza, head of Pagasa-CAR, it is safe to assume that another super typhoon would hit the country this year because of the unpredictability of the weather due to climate change and global warming.
“We can expect 19 to 21 weather disturbances this year and because of climate change, there could be at least one extreme storm,” he said.
Because of the increasing number of extreme storms entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), Pagasa has included a new storm signal number to inform residents of the severity of the coming storm.
Typhoon signal number 5 was instituted May this year to better warn people that they are in the path of a super typhoon with winds reaching in excess of 220 kilometers per hour near the center, and for them to take extra precautionary measures to minimize casualties and property damage.
“This month of July, we are expecting two to three tropical cyclones to enter PAR,” Esperanza added.
Typhoon signal number 5 does not make the previous four signals any less serious, he said, adding that lower typhoon signals still need preparation.
For his part, Office of Civil Defense-Cordillera Director Alex Uy said people should always have emergency numbers at hand in case there is need to call for assistance during human-induced or natural calamities and crises.