Santi may make landfall Friday night, may hit MManila
Pagasa head Prisco Nilo said a high-pressure area near Philippine territory may force Santi to slightly change course from west to west southwest.
"At this point mga (there is about) 30 percent probability dadaan or very close over Metro Manila ... Puwedeng dadaan ang bagyo malapit sa Metro Manila, nariyan ang possibility na yan. Ang sa Metro Manila, kailangan maghanda tayo kung sakaling ang bagyo dumaan nang malapit (It is possible the cyclone may get near Metro Manila so its residents should prepare)," Nilo said.
Last September 26, Metro Manila and some areas in Central Luzon and the Calabarzon regions were battered by Tropical Storm Ondoy's record rainfall, which surpassed the previous record for the metropolis in 1967. [See: Epic flood in Metro Manila caused by record rainfall]
Nilo said Santi is likely to make landfall in Casiguran in Aurora Friday night or early Saturday, if it maintains its present speed. The cyclone is also likely to pass through Central Luzon and the southern part of North Luzon, he added.
But he said that unless Santi slows down, it may cross the entire Luzon in just 12 hours, and be out of Philippine territory by Tuesday at the latest.
"Yung bagyo medyo mabilis ang pagkilos, mga 12 hours nakatawid na yan sa kabilang side. Mas maganda pag mabilis ang bagyo, di tayo masyadong mababad sa hangin at ulan ng bagyo (The cyclone moves relatively fast. We expect it to cross Luzon in just 12 hours. It will be better this way, than being exposed for a long time to its winds and rains)," he said.
He also projected Santi to be “behaved" compared to tropical cyclone Ramil (Lupit), which followed an erratic path before sparing the country.
In its 11 a.m. advisory, Pagasa said Santi maintained its strength as it continued to move towards Central Luzon.
Located 890 km east of Casiguran, Aurora as of 10 a.m., Santi was packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 185 kph.
Santi was moving west at 24 kph and is expected to be 440 km east of Casiguran, Aurora, and in the vicinity of Casiguran, Aurora or 210 km northeast of Manila Saturday morning. By Sunday morning it is expected to be 170 km west of Dagupan City or 280 km northwest of Manila.
And as Santi draws closer to making landfall, Pagasa placed Polilio Island under storm signal No. 2 while areas under signal No. 1 were: Isabela, Ifugao, Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur.
Pagasa reminded residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes under storm signals to take precautions against flashfloods and landslides.
Earlier, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said about 140 trucks loaded with relief goods have been sent off to storm-prone areas in Northern, Central, Southern Luzon and the Bicol Region in anticipation of Santi.
The relief goods will also be distributed to past cyclone victims in the mentioned areas. [See: 140 trucks with relief goods head for storm-prone areas in Luzon] - GMANews.TV