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Philippines Braces for Rammasun, First Typhoon Since Deadly Haiyan

Photo Credit: NHC/NOAA

Typhoon Rammasun is churning — and gaining strength — about 175 nautical miles east-southeast of Manila. Rammasun is currently packing winds of 86-mph, making it the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane. The storm is on a west-northwesterly track, but is expected to take a bit more of a northerly turn in the coming hours.

By early Tuesday, local time, the typhoon will start to lash the island of Samar in the east-central part of the Philippine Archipelago. Winds of up to 105 miles per hour are possible as the storm makes landfall on the southeastern tip of the island of Luzon. Rammasun is also the first typhoon to hit the country since Super Typhoon Haiyan obliterated central parts of the Philippines last November.

Haiyan, which made landfall just over eight months ago, roared ashore with winds gusting near 200-mph. The devastation and humanitarian crisis that followed was one of the worst ever caused by a tropical system.

If there’s a silver lining in a landfalling typhoon, it’s this: Rammasun is *nowhere* near as strong as Haiyan, but damage and human impact is still likely.

Rammasun will pass just to the north the island of Samar, before making a turn toward the densely populated island of Luzon and the Philippine capital — Manila. As Rammasun reaches Manila, winds are likely to be equivalent to a low-end Category 1 hurricane or strong topical storm.

Photo Credit: Japan Meteorological Agency

While the wind might diminish as it interacts with land, heavy rains — that could trigger mudslides — are a distinct possibility. Urban flooding is also likely. Here’s what the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Sciences Administration (similar to our National Weather Service) had to say, “Estimated rainfall amount is from 7.5 – 25 mm [.3 – 1″] per hour (moderate – intense) within the 500 km [305 mi] diameter of the Typhoon.”

After leaving the Philippines Rammasun will emerge over the South China Sea and strengthen once again; potentially packing winds near 110-mph by late Thursday, local time.

At this point, Typhoon Rammasun could make it’s final landfall, as a Category 1, on the Chinese island of Hianan and then on to Mainland China.

Check back with us, we’ll be updating you on Typhoon Rammasun through the coming days.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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