The tropical depression outside the Philippine Area of Responsibilty (PAR) has intensified into a tropical storm with international name “Melor” and has been renamed as “Nona” as it enters PAR on Saturday morning, according Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
PAGASA weather forecaster Glaiza Escullar said
Escullar explained the tropical storm should have been “Nonoy” but was later on changed to “Nona” due to its landfalling characteristics and out of respect for President Benigno Aquino 3rd whose nickname “Noynoy” is similar to the originally designated code name.
“Nona” entered PAR at 4 a.m., the 14th tropical cyclone to affect the country this year.
She said that as of 4 a.m., the center of Tropical Storm “Nona” was estimated based on all available data at 1,110 km east of Maasin, Southern Leyte (10.2N, 135.0E) packed with maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph. It is forecast to move west northwest at 25 kph.
She said so far the tropical storm has no direct effect in the country. But starting Sunday night, it will affect the eastern side of Luzon and Visayas as it will raise a public storm warning signals (PSWS).
She also noted the tropical storm is expected to intensify into typhoon category.
With maintaining its speed and movement, tropical storm is expected to make a landfall in Bicol region by Tuesday night, said Escullar.
President Aquino has directed government agencies to be ready for tropical storm Nona.
In a radio interview, Palace deputy spokesman Abigail Valte said the President expects every government department to be prepared for the approaching weather disturbance
She noted that while the country is already “in Christmas mood,” the government is keeping an eye on the storm and is doing all the necessary preparations to mitigate its effect.
“Ang utos po ng Pangulong Aquino ay siguraduhin ng ating NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council) na naka-coordinate na po tayo doon sa mga lokal at mga provincial na DRRMCs natin at siguraduhin na nakaantabay, nakabantay po tayong lahat, at nakamonitor lang po ang Pangulo doon sa mga development na ito mula sa PAGASA,” she said.
According to Valte, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health and the Department of Public Works and Highways have been preparing for the storm.
She added that relief goods, medicines, and heavy equipment have already been prepositioned in areas, which would possibly be hit by the storm.
Valte called on the public to remain vigilant and monitor the media and Pagasa regarding the storm’s developments.