PAGASA has officially added a storm Signal No.5 to the Philippines’ warning scale. The administrator of PAGASA; Dr. Vicente Manalo says the change is due to the fact that tropical cyclones in the country have grown stronger.

Looking back on the last two years’ lineup of storms many have put the country in a state of calamity. Flooding plagued cities and demonic winds incapacitated provincial areas. The most infamous is Typhoon Yolanda which had wind strengths of 235 km/h that triggered a storm surge reaching up to 5 meters high and caused thousands of death in Leyte. It is because of this particular storm that paved way for the possibility of a Warning Signal No.5.

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The storm warning as modified is as follows:

•             Signal No. 1 – tropical cyclone winds of 30-60 kph are expected within the next 36 hours

• Signal No. 2 – tropical cyclone winds of 61-120 kph are expected within the next 24 hours

• Signal No. 3 – tropical cyclone winds of 121-170 kph are expected within the next 18 hours

• Signal No. 4 – tropical cyclone winds of 171-220 kph are expected within the next 12 hours

• Signal No. 5 – tropical cyclone winds of more than 220 kph are expected within 12 hours

Before it was changed, storm warnings carried these conditions:

• Signal No. 1 – tropical cyclone winds of 30-60 kph are expected within the next 36 hours

• Signal No. 2 – tropical cyclone winds of 61-100 kph are expected within the next 24 hours

• Signal No. 3 – tropical cyclone winds of 101-185 kph are expected within the next 18 hours

• Signal No. 4 – tropical cyclone winds of more than 185 kph are expected within the next 12 hours

Other storms that followed also threatened the Philippines including Typhoon Ruby which gave Manila and incredible scare because of its wind gusts nearing that of Yolanda. Last year PAGASA came to adopt the Super Typhoon category but that was simply not enough.

This year the entire Storm Warning Signals are modified, adjusting details for each to better alert Filipino citizens. Dr. Vincent Malano said, “It is not easy to add a storm signal, but the extensive and devastating damages caused by strong typhoons, such as typhoon Yolanda in 2013 made the four-level warning system numbers 1-4 inadequate.”

Despite it being uneasy PAGASA prompted to make the modifications for the sake of everybody’s safety because in times of disaster Preparedness is the best solution.

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