Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Typhoon Season

The month of May is almost over. Time really flies when one is having fun. Rain comes almost everyday now in Manila, mostly in the late afternoon to early evening alleviating the heat we have during the day. But of course, these late afternoon rain is also a signal that the weather is changing from dry to wet. A college friend, now based in Canada, stated once in an e-mail that Canada has only three seasons: pre-winter, winter and post-winter. Coming from a tropical country, I could just imagine what it would be like to be in a climate like that. Here in the Philippines, cold weather always makes me sluggish and sleepy. If I were in Canada, I might experience perpetual hibernation if it were possible for humans. Kidding aside, I love the rainy season. The temperature drops to a comfortable level (at least for me), plants and trees start to sprout new leaves, everything begins to smell fresh and life begins anew. The only thing I don’t like about the rainy season is that it is also the typhoon season.

Typhoon season in the Philippines is from June to early November. Typhoon (Bagyo) is given four storm signal categories based on the strength of the winds they bring. Signal Number 1 carry winds from 30-60 kph. Signal Number 2 carry winds from 60-100 kph. Classes from the secondary level down are usually suspended. Work suspension announcements vary upon the affected areas. Signal Number 3 packs 100-185 kph, strong enough to blow down trees and houses made of light materials. Classes in all levels are suspended, and work suspension are announced depending on the severity in affected areas. Storm Signal Number 4 is commonly rare. But they blast winds above 185 kph. These super typhoons are called “super-bagyo.” With winds that strong, one will be foolish to venture out of a fortified house. The strongest recorded typhoon to hit Manila was Typhoon Yoling, international code name “Patsy” in November 17-20, 1970, packing winds of 200 kph and claiming 611. But so far, the worst storm to hit the Philippines was storm Uring, international code name “Thelma.” It only packed wind speeds 95 kph but claimed more than 8,000 lives in Tacloban in November 2-7, 1991. I pray storms of this magnitude don’t come this season.

1 comment:

Ernesto said...

Preparing fot this season!!!