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‘Santi’ intensifies into typhoon, to intensify further

October 28, 2009 8:07pm
A tropical cyclone heading for the Philippines intensified further into a typhoon late Wednesday and remained on course towards northern Luzon, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In its 5 p.m. report, NOAA said "Mirinae" slightly accelerated at 27 kph.

"It is expected to intensify during the next 24 hours. Typhoon force winds extend outward up to 40 km from the center and tropical storm force winds extend upward up to 185 km from the center," it said.

NOAA said "Mirinea" was about 997 km west-northwest of Guam as of 5 p.m. and packed maximum sustained winds of 160 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said typhoon "Mirinae" was 1,390 km east of Central Luzon as of 4 p.m.

The cyclone will be code-named “Santi" once it enters Philippine territory, which Pagasa said could be on late Wednesday or early Thursday.

The Japan Meteorological Agency's 5:45 p.m. report said "Mirinae" may make landfall in the eastern part of northern Luzon and may affect parts of the Visayas as well this weekend while the nation observes All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day.

Because of this, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., who also heads the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC), warned the public of the risks of going to the cemeteries.

“We see difficulties if our countrymen are not aware of the coming typhoon and they are planning to visit their relatives at the cemeteries. They may be trapped there and this may cause traffic congestion in the streets and may delay the response and relief efforts that may be needed to be done," Teodoro said in a press briefing in Camp Aguinaldo Wednesday.

He urged the public to visit their dead relatives before Saturday. “Let us avoid visiting our relatives at the cemeteries and if they really need to make a visit, we can do it earlier, before Saturday."

Teodoro said a food caravan is scheduled to leave for southern Luzon on Thursday as part of the government’s pre-positioning of relief goods in preparation for Santi. - GMANews.TV
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