The meaning of storm signals
In the face of successive tropical cyclones or typhoons that brought massive damages to the country and to Olongapo City as well, Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. has tasked concerned departments to re-inform Olongapeños about the meanings of storm signals so that appropriate disaster preparedness can be done to prevent accidents.
“The Philippines has the highest number of tropical typhoons in the world with an average of 20 typhoons entering the country every year, so we must always prepare for the worst situations,” said Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr.
According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAG-ASA, Public Storm Signal No. 1 is put into effect when a maximum wind speed of not more than 60 kph is expected to affect a certain place in at lest 36 hours. In this situation, impact of winds may cause twigs and branches of small trees to be broken, some banana plants may be tiled or downed and some houses of very light materials like nipa and cogon may be partially unroofed. Classes in pre-school level in all public and private schools in affected communities will automatically be suspended.
On the other hand, Public Storm Signal No. 2 is announced when the maximum wind speed is greater than 60kph but not more than 100 kph is expected to affect a certain place in at least 24 hours. In this situation some coconut trees may be tilted or broken, few big trees may be uprooted, large number of nipa and cogon houses may be partially or totally unroofed, some old galvanized iron roofing may be peeled off and in general, the winds may bring light to moderate damages to the communities affected. With storm signal no. 2, classes in pre-school, elementary and high school levels in all public and private schools in affected areas are automatically suspended .
Public Storm Signal No. 3 is announced when a maximum wind speed of more than 100 kph up to 185 kph is expected to affect a certain place in at least 12 to 18 hours. In this situation, nipa houses may be unroofed or destroyed and there may be considerable damages to structures of light to medium construction. There may be widespread disruption of electrical power and communication services and in general, moderate to heavy damage may be expected, practically in agricultural and industrial sectors. With public storm signal no. 3, people are advised not to travel especially by sea or air transportation and people should also seek shelter in strong buildings, evacuate low-lying areas and stay-away from seacoasts or river banks. Classes in all levels are automatically suspended in affected communities.
Public Storm Signal no. 4 is declared when very strong winds of more than 185 kph is expected to affect a certain area in at least 12 hours. In this situation, many large trees may be uprooted and most residential and buildings of mixed construction may be severely damaged, electrical power disruption and communication services will be disrupted and in general, massive damages may be expected to communities affected.
The Olongapo City Government has renewed its efforts in raising public awareness on the possible adverse effects of typhoons by explaining the meaning of storm warning signals.