|Typhoon Nesat caused torrential rains across the Philippines long before the eye of the storm made landfall [AFP]
Typhoon Nesat is bearing down on the Philippines.
When it makes landfall, it will be the seventh storm that has affected the country since May, and all of these storms have affected the north island of Luzon.
Aere, Songda, Sarika, Haima, Nock-ten and Nanmadol have all brought torrential rains to the island, many of which have triggered widespread flooding and landslides. Nock-ten was particularly devastating, claiming the lives of over 30 people.
This latest storm, Typhoon Nesat, is expected to make landfall around 0 GMT on Tuesday. The storm covers a huge area, and even 24 hours before landfall, the outer fringes of the storm were already covering the vast majority of the country.
The Philippines has already started its preparations for the storm. The central provinces of Luzon have halted all ferries and fishing boats, leaving many passengers stranded. Manila, too, is on a high state of alert, with many schools closing early on Monday.
The storm is expected to make a direct hit on Luzon, with the provinces of Isabela and Aurora being the worst hit. At the time of landfall, the sustained winds are expected to be around 185 kph. This would make Nesat the equivalent of a category three hurricane on the five-point Saffir-Simpson Scale.
Together with the strong winds, there will also be a significant storm surge of up to 10 metres in places, and the storm is also expected to bring around 500 mm of rain. Excessive rains loosens the soil, particularly on ground which has been deforested, and for many parts of Luzon, the ground is already saturated. Typhoon Nesat will inevitablty lead to further flooding and probably more landslides.
The storm is then expected to head northwest towards Vietnam. This would be bad news for the country, which is currently seeing torrential rains from Tropical Depression Haitang, and has already been suffering from flooding in the last few weeks.
Source: Al Jazeera