Typhoon Juan

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Typhoon Juan (international name Megi) is the tenth tropical storm to have entered the Philippines in 2010 and is said to be the world's strongest storm in 2010. The typhoon entered the Philippine area of responsibility at around 1 a.m. on 16 October 2010 and has made landfall on October 18 at northern Isabela. The typhoon is packed with powerful winds of 225 kilometers per hour (124 miles per hour) near the center.

As of 12 p.m. on 18 October 2010, PAGASA located the typhoon at 70 km east of Tuguegarao City. It is forecasted to move west-southwest at a speed of 19 kph. Signal no. 4, the highest possible storm warning signal issued by PAGASA, is hoisted above the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela, while Signal no. 3 is placed over Batanes, Calayan Group of Islands, Babuyan Group of Islands, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, and northern Aurora.

The Ilocos provinces along with Abra, La Union, Benguet, and parts of Aurora, were put under Signal no. 2, while Signal no. 1 was declared over Metro Manila, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Polillo Islands, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Zambales, northern Quezon and Rizal.

Projected impact

PAGASA said that Typhoon Juan could bring the same amount of rain as Tropical Storm Ondoy, which submerged a vast portion of Metro Manila and nearby provinces in September 2009. Based on satellite images, PAGASA estimated that as much as 200 to 300 mm of rain could fall on large parts of northern Luzon.

Officials have already warned of possible rough seas, flash flooding, storm surges, and landslides. People living along the coast, near river banks and low-lying areas in the northern Cagayan and Isabela provinces have started moving to higher grounds, as government forecasters said waves off the east coast could be greater than 14 meters (46 ft). Massive crop damage is also feared.

With Metro Manila and surrounding provinces included in the storm's range as of 11 p.m. Sunday (October 17), PAGASA officer-in-charge Graciano Yumul Jr. said that people should be prepared. "Manila was only under Signal no. 1 during Ondoy," he said. Elementary classes have been suspended in all areas under Signal no. 1.

Emergency measures

Meanwhile, President Benigno Aquino III has tasked all government agencies to be on high alert in order to prevent loss of life to reach the government's target of "zero casualties" during the storm. The coast guard has banned all fishing vessels in the north from setting out to sea. The Office of Civil Defense said that the government was not ruling out forced evacuations.

Disaster officials said that food packs, medicine and rescue equipment including rubber boats are ready in areas where the typhoon is likely to hit. Additional search and rescue forces were also being sent by the national police.

Casualties

As of October 20, the National Disaster Coordinating Council recorded 12 deaths as a result of Juan's rampage. Nine were reportedly injured.Overall, Juan affected 215,037 people or 39,847 families.

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