Last week, a low pressure area formed in the Pacific Ocean due east of the Philippines. This LPA eventually formed into a tropical storm, known internationally as “Surigae.” Upon entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility however, it gained the name “Bising,” the second major weather disturbance to visit the country since Auring in February. The national weather agency PAGASA has already forecast that Bising will not make landfall, but the sheer size of its cloud formation is wreaking havoc on the eastern provinces, with floods and strong winds ruining crops, damaging roads and causing property damage along with interrupting routines.

As reports it, Typhoon Bising has caused suspension of work and online classes in Bicol Region, particularly in Albay province. About the only businesses still allowed to open up even in the middle of the heavy rain are the essential health and service providers such as groceries and pharmacies. Government offices were also closed save for the necessary ones of public order (police), disaster management (rescue) and health (hospitals). Already eight areas in the Philippines are under Tropical Cyclone Signal Number 2 even as Bising continues to sweep north by northwestward, its strength unchanged due to not making landfall.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) clocked Typhoon Bising at 10 kilometers per hour, 195 km/h in maximum sustained winds towards the center, and 240 km/h in gustiness. That still leaves over 61 km/h winds and max 120 km/h gustiness to menace the Signal Number 2 areas: eastern Camarines Sur, eastern Albay, eastern/central Sorsogon, all of Samar, and Biliran Island. Meanwhile, Signal Number 1 is still up at the following: eastern Isabela, southeastern Quezon, Camarines Norte, the remaining portions of Camarines Sur, Albay and Sorsogon, Masbate, all of Leyte, northern Cebu province, and the Mindanao islands of Siargao, Dinagat and Bucas Grande.

Bising was located about 595 km due east of Manila as of 7 AM local time. Its northward/north-northwestward movement will continue until Wednesday evening, April 21. Come Thursday, April 22 it will now turn northeastward, gradually moving away from Luzon.

Image courtesy of UNTV News