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Typhoon Butchoy exits, may trigger storm surges

MANILA, Philippines (June 18 2012 9:00 A.M.) - Typhoon “Butchoy” (international name Guchol) was just below Super Typhoon threshold as it started to recurve NNE towards Okinawa and Ryukyu Islands and is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) tonight.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), however, warned the public yesterday that Butchoy can still trigger heavy rains and storm surges.

Typhoon Butchoy will continue to enhance the Southwest Monsoon (aka. Habagat) across Northwestern Visayas & Western Luzon including Metro Manila & Subic today. Breezy to windy conditions & cloudy skies w/ occasional to widespread rains, thunderstorms & squalls will be expected. The seas along the coastal areas along the West Philippine and Visayan Sea will be moderate to rough & dangerous.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Butchoy intensified and accelerated yesterday as it moved away.

NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said the typhoon can still spawn heavy rains and storm surges in some parts of the country.

“The possibility of a storm surge is still there in the eastern seaboard of the Philippines,” Ramos told ABS-CBN News Channel.

“Let us not be complacent even if Butchoy is about to leave,” he added.

No casualties related to the typhoon were reported as of yesterday afternoon.

Ramos said they remain on red alert for possible emergency situations. He said state agencies are on standby to assist residents affected by the typhoon.

Only one typhoon-related incident has been reported so far but it did not involve any casualty.

A pump boat carrying 10 people capsized in waters off Catbalogan City in Samar last week but all passengers were rescued by authorities.

However, the low pressure area that hit some parts of the country before Butchoy intensified into a storm left at least 10 people dead.

The weather disturbance also left two persons injured and 43 others missing.

A total of 30,937 people or 6,183 families in four regions have been affected by the low pressure area. The NDRRMC said 476 people or 104 families are still housed in five evacuation centers.

Another weather disturbance seen in Mindanao

PAGASA administrator Nathaniel Servando said the southwest monsoon, which was enhanced by the typhoon, will continue to dump rains over most parts of Luzon and the Visayas this week.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the eye of Butchoy was spotted at 550 kilometers east-northeast of Aparri, Cagayan with maximum sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 220 kph.

It was forecast to move north at 22 kph.

“The southwest monsoon, enhanced by Butchoy, will continue to bring occasional rains (light to moderate) over western Luzon, including Metro Manila, until Thursday,” Servando told The STAR.

PAGASA weather division chief Robert Sawi said the southwest monsoon will bring occasional rains over Luzon and western Visayas, becoming frequent over the western section of Luzon particularly Mindoro, Batangas, Cavite, Bataan, Pampanga, Zambales, Pangasinan, La Union, Benguet, the Ilocos provinces, and the National Capital Region.

PAGASA continued to warn operators of fishing boats and other small sea vessels not to venture out to the seas of Luzon, the Visayas and eastern Mindanao due to the big waves generated by the combined effects of Butchoy and the southwest monsoon.

“Sea travel is risky due to monsoon surge,” Sawi said.

Butchoy, the second tropical cyclone to enter the country this year, was forecast to exit the Philippine area of responsibility tonight.

Butchoy was predicted to be 500 km east-northeast of Basco, Batanes this morning and 1,020 kms northeast of Basco or 280 kms east-northeast of Okinawa, Japan tomorrow morning.

PAGASA was also monitoring yesterday a possible weather disturbance off Mindanao.

“Based on (numerical) models, a tropical cyclone might develop east of the country on Thursday or Friday,” Servando said. (From,