By Patricia de Leon
Meteorological agencies abroad may predict that weather disturbances, such as Typhoon Haiyan, could develop as a supertyphoon. But it would probably not be tagged a supertyphoon by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
Foreign agencies would call a disturbance a supertyphoon if it has maximum winds of 185 kph. PAGASA would only call it a supertyphoon only when its winds reach 215 kph, forecaster Glaiza Escullar explained on Tuesday.
Escullar said the chances of Haiyan becoming a supertyphoon is small, if the PAGASA standard is used.
In case of a supertyphoon, Escullar said, even all land transportation would be discouraged and agriculture in all affected areas would be totally damaged.
Haiyan is expected to enter Philippine territory by Thursday morning, at which point it will be called Yolanda.
Escullar said there was a big possibility that it would intensify before making landfall in the Samar-Leyte area on Friday afternoon.
Haiyan is expected to traverse through the Visayas, affect Southern Masbate, Northern Panay Island, and Mindoro.
Because of its big diameter, the typhoon may also affect Metro Manila, Bicol, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Caraga, and Northern Mindanao.
PAGASA may raise storm signal warnings on Thursday.
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Pia Hontiveros, Chief Correspondent and anchor of Solar Network News and News.Ph, presents the Solar News and Current Affairs year-ender special: On the Cusp of Change. A deafening silence, not out of a loss for words but a grief that cannot be spoken, for thousands lost to a super typhoon ... A muted pain from a powerful tremor that violently shook the heart of the nation ... An unspeakable anger over pork barrel that fueled a political maelstrom ... These and other stories from the extraordinary challenging year that was.