|Nalgae was a Super Typhoon when it struck Luzon, the second typhoon to hit the island in less than a week [AFP]|
Typhoon Nalgae swept across the northern Philippines on Saturday, bringing with it damaging winds in excess of 160kph and the inevitable widespread flooding.
Rescue operations have been ongoing in parts of the north of Luzon since Thursday and thousands of people remain in evacuation centres. At its peak the typhoon had sustained winds of around 250kph, but it has weakened significantly. It is a reflection of how powerful the system is that it still remains a typhoon despite having moved across such a large are of land.
The storm remains on a similar track to that of Typhoon Nesat, so concerns now once again include southwest China and north Vietnam.
Nalgae has slowed down somewhat and is now making its way across the South China Sea. It is expected to pass very close to the south of Hainan on Tuesday and eventually move into the northern half of Vietnam by Thursday. By the time it reaches Vietnam it is likely to be a tropical storm, but as in the case of the Philippines, the rain is an even greater concern than the winds.
Even ahead of Nalgae’s arrival, those saturated regions of southwestern China and northern Vietnam are struggling to cope with 80 to 100mm of rain a day, day after day, and that amount of rain will increase as we go through the week ahead.
The typhoon season in this part of the world extends from May to November, but the warm waters of the Northwest Pacific Ocean and South China Sea make it possible for storms to develop all year round. As such, we must assume that there will almost certainly be more tropical storms or typhoons to come over the next two months.