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Saturday, July 22, 2023

Storm Egay Roars: Philippines Braces for Impact as Habagat Looms

Storm Egay

In the midst of the tropical cyclone season, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has reported that Tropical Storm Egay has slightly intensified as it moves westward over the Philippine Sea. As of the latest bulletin, Egay was spotted 685 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes, packing sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour, with gusts reaching up to 90 kph. The storm is currently moving westward at a speed of 15 kph. While no tropical cyclone wind signal has been raised yet, PAGASA warns that some areas in the Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas might expect wind signals in the coming days due to occasional rains brought about by the storm. Additionally, PAGASA also highlighted that Egay may enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat. Although a direct landfall over the northern portion of Northern Luzon is not certain at this time, it remains a possibility.

Tropical Storm Egay's Current Status

As of the latest data available, Tropical Storm Egay has intensified slightly with sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 90 kph. The storm's current location is approximately 685 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes. Egay is currently moving westward at a speed of 15 kph. It is essential to closely monitor the storm's trajectory and any changes in its intensity, as tropical cyclones can be unpredictable and have significant impacts on weather conditions in affected areas.

Potential Wind Signals and Rains in Visayas and MIMAROPA

Despite no tropical cyclone wind signal being raised as of the latest bulletin, PAGASA predicts that some areas in the Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas may expect wind signals in the coming days. This is due to the anticipated occasional rains that Tropical Storm Egay may bring over most parts of Visayas and MIMAROPA. Residents in these regions should stay vigilant and keep abreast of updates from local authorities and PAGASA to take necessary precautions in case of potential wind signal hoisting.

Enhancement of the Southwest Monsoon (Habagat)

One significant concern associated with Tropical Storm Egay is its potential to enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat. The southwest monsoon is the prevailing wind system during the rainy season in the Philippines. It brings abundant rainfall to western parts of the country, including the western sections of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. When a tropical storm or typhoon interacts with the southwest monsoon, it can lead to an intensification of rainfall and cause heavy flooding in affected areas.

Residents in regions susceptible to habagat rains should remain cautious and be prepared for possible flash floods, landslides, and other weather-related hazards. It is crucial to follow advisories and evacuation orders issued by local authorities to ensure the safety of communities.

Potential Landfall Scenario

While Tropical Storm Egay is currently forecast to remain offshore, PAGASA has not ruled out the possibility of a landfall scenario over the northern portion of Northern Luzon. A landfall occurs when a tropical cyclone's center crosses the coast and moves from the sea to the land. If Egay makes landfall, it can bring more intense winds and rainfall to the affected area, leading to potential damage to property, infrastructure, and disruption of essential services.

Preparedness and Safety Measures

As Tropical Storm Egay continues to develop and move, it is crucial for residents in the Philippines, particularly those in regions that may be affected, to be prepared and take necessary safety measures. Here are some important steps to consider:

  1. Stay Informed: Keep track of official weather bulletins and updates from PAGASA and local authorities to stay informed about the storm's progress, potential wind signals, and expected rainfall in your area.
  2. Secure Loose Objects: Secure or store loose objects outside your homes, such as plants, outdoor furniture, and construction materials. These objects can become dangerous projectiles in strong winds.
  3. Evacuation Plans: Familiarize yourself with your community's evacuation plans and designated evacuation centers. If authorities issue evacuation orders, follow them promptly and calmly.
  4. Emergency Kit: Prepare an emergency kit that includes essential items like non-perishable food, water, first aid supplies, flashlights, batteries, and important documents.
  5. Avoid Flooded Areas: During heavy rains and potential flooding, avoid walking or driving through flooded areas. Floodwaters can be deceptive and deeper than they appear, posing a significant risk to life and property.


Tropical Storm Egay's slight intensification and westward movement over the Philippine Sea warrant close monitoring and preparedness by residents in the Philippines. While no tropical cyclone wind signal has been raised yet, PAGASA's warning about potential wind signals in some areas of the Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas calls for vigilance.

Moreover, the potential enhancement of the southwest monsoon or habagat due to Egay's influence can lead to heavy rainfall and flooding in affected regions. Residents in these areas must take necessary precautions and stay informed about weather developments.

As the storm's trajectory and intensity may change, it is crucial to rely on official updates from PAGASA and local authorities. By being prepared and adhering to safety measures, communities can mitigate potential risks and ensure the safety and well-being of their residents during this tropical storm event.

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