The deadly Typhoon Rammasun is now targeting South China and northern Vietnam after ravaging the Philippines on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Chinese government has issued early warnings for the southernmost coastlines as the Rammasun whipped through the Philippine capital, bringing with it high winds and heavy rains. This typhoon which is known to Philippine locals as Glenda, first made its landfall on Tuesday as it intensified. This system is now moving through the South China Sea and has set its sights on parts of China and Vietnam. The worst of Rammasun’s winds have appeared to have just passed the south of the Philippine capital.
This typhoon is now moving northwestward at a forward speed of about 16 mph, and its effects were felt most strongly since sunrise on Wednesday in the nation’s capital of Manila which includes a population of 12 million people. Damage surrounding the capital included many downed trees, torn off roofs, overturned vehicles, and at least one building has collapsed. Also, flooding has occurred in parts of the metropolis. Very high winds have also destroyed some homes along the Manila Bay, and thousands of people in Metro Manila area live in makeshift towns that are highly vulnerable to high winds and flooding.
After the typhoon emerged over the Ragay Gulf, its eye made a third landfall on Luzon over the Bondoc Peninsula of Quezon province near Catanauan which is about 115 miles southeast of Manila, on Tuesday night. A fourth landfall occurred near Lucena in Quezon province shortly before sunrise on Wednesday. The fifth landfall occurred on the Bataan Peninsula around 9 a.m. Wednesday after the eye crossed over the Manila Bay.
Heavy torrential rains have been reported in areas that passed through Rammasun’s eye, especially in the easter Visayas region. Catarman reported 11.25 inches of rain in the 36 hours of the storm. Typhoon Rammasun is the strongest typhoon that has made landfall in the Philippines since Super Typhoon Haiyan wrecked the central Philippines eight months ago. The eyewall of this storm passed north of the area that was devasted by the last system, although some windy conditions and outer rains made their way through the area.
According to a hurricane expert with The Weather Channel, a storm surge of up to 6-10 feet was expected along the coastal areas of the eastern Visayas and central Luzon along with a few wind gusts over 100 mph. Because of this typhoon, about 4,000 passengers on the ferry and 50 vessels have been stranded in ports according to the South China Morning Post.
Typhoon Rammasun will move into the South China Sea by Wednesday afternoon, and it will then strengthen again due to low wind shears and warm sea-surface temperatures. It is predicted to make landfall in southern China near Hainan Island, which has a population of 8.9 million, on Friday evening. This typhoon could reach a Category 3 equivalent by the time it makes landfall in China.
In China, they have a four-tier warning system for typhoon. The China Meteorological Administration has now issues an orange warning for the provinces of Hainan, Guangdong, and Guangxi, which are all located in southern China. The orange warning is the second highest in the four-tier warning system.
Residents of Hong Kong don’t have to worry about severe conditions, as the storms eye will likely miss this area that is home to over seven million residents. Unfortunately, this forecast still has room to shift, so all weather officials in Hong Kong need to keep a close eye on the system over the next couple of days. If Rammasun’s wind field becomes extensive, there could be a significant impact in Hong Kong, even though the center is tracked to the south.
Typhoon Rammasun is predicted to make its final landfall in far northern parts of Vietnam east of Hanoi, either as a Category 1 or Category 2 equivalent on Saturday. The Philippines are one of the most tropical cyclone-prone countries on earth, and four typhoons made their presence known in the Philippines in 2013.