Typhoon “Ewiniar” (Aghon) hits the Philippines, causing deaths and widespread damage

typhoon ewiniar aghon at 0410 utc on may 26 2024 himawari-9

Typhoon “Ewiniar” — known as Aghon in the Philippines, formed on May 25, 2024, northeast of Davao City, Philippines as the first named storm of the 2024 Pacific typhoon season. The system made multiple landfalls, causing three fatalities, injuries to seven individuals, and impacting approximately 19 000 people across various regions. Heavy rain, landslides, and widespread damage were reported as the storm progressed.

Initially identified as a tropical depression at 18:00 UTC on May 22, the system entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) early on May 23 and was named Aghon by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) on May 24.

The storm made its first landfall over Homonhon Island and Giporlos, Eastern Samar, in the early hours of May 25 (PHT). Throughout the evening, Aghon made additional landfalls over the Basiao and Cagduyong Islands of Catbalogan, Batuan in Ticao Island, Masbate City, and Torrijos, Marinduque.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that the tropical depression intensified into a tropical storm at 12:00 UTC on May 25 while still in Tayabas Bay. However, the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) needed another 12 hours to classify the system as a tropical storm, naming it Ewiniar.

The storm’s eighth landfall occurred over Lucena, Quezon, in Luzon on the morning of May 26 (PHT). On the same day, the JTWC upgraded Ewiniar to a typhoon after satellite imagery revealed the development of its eye feature over Lamon Bay.

Ewiniar made its ninth landfall over Patnanungan in the Polillo Islands later that evening. By May 27, the JMA had also upgraded Ewiniar to a typhoon.

typhoon ewiniar satellite image 0810 utc may 27 2024 himawari-9
Typhoon “Ewiniar” (Aghon) at 08:10 UTC on May 27, 2024. Credit: JMA/Himawari-9, Zoom Earth, The Watchers

The storm left seven people injured, and around 19 000 others were directly affected by the storm. Tragically, three individuals, including an infant, lost their lives in Quezon.

In Legazpi, Albay, a falling tree injured four people, while in Taytay, Rizal, another falling tree destroyed two vehicles.

A tornado in Lavezares, Northern Samar, destroyed four houses and damaged eight more. 12 people were affected by the tornado but no one was hurt, authorities reported.

In Tanza, Cavite, strong waves washed away 19 houses. Quezon and Laguna Provinces experienced flooding and power outages, and a barge ran aground in Mauban.

A passenger boat sank off the coast of Aroroy, Masbate, but all 35 passengers and crew were rescued.

The storm stranded approximately 7 175 people in ports across the Philippines, with over 3 200 stranded in Bicol alone after sea travel was suspended. Additionally, 600 others were stranded in Eastern Visayas, and a power outage affected parts of Eastern Samar. By May 27, more than 8 800 people had been evacuated to shelters.

On May 26, President Bongbong Marcos urged the populace to remain vigilant as the storm continued to affect the region. The Department of Social Welfare and Development provided around one million pesos worth of aid to families impacted by the typhoon.

At 00:00 UTC on May 27, Ewiniar had maximum 10-minute sustained winds of 120 km/h (75 mph), with gusts up to 175 km/h (110 mph). The maximum 1-minute sustained winds were recorded at 175 km/h (110 mph), with a minimum central pressure of 985 hPa. The system was slowly moving NE, away from the Philippines.

At 09:00 UTC on May 27 (17:00 PHT), PAGASA said the system had slightly shifted east-northeastward while moving away from the Philippine landmass.

The center of the eye was estimated, based on all available data including those from the Baler Doppler Weather Radar, to be 155 km (96 miles) east of Casiguran, Aurora. The typhoon was moving east-northeastward at 10 km/h (6 mph). Maximum sustained winds near the center were recorded at 140 km/h (87 mph) with gusts up to 170 km/h (105 mph).

The typhoon is less likely to bring a significant amount of rainfall within the next three days, PAGASA said. However, the southwesterly wind flow enhanced by the typhoon will bring moderate to heavy rains over Western Visayas and portions of MIMAROPA in the next two days.

Under the influence of the storm, a Gale Warning is hoisted over the coastal waters of Cagayan (eastern portion), Isabela, Aurora, and the northern coastal waters of Quezon including Polillo Islands. Sea travel is risky for small seacrafts, including all motorbancas of any type of tonnage.

Outside the Gale Warning areas, the system will bring moderate to rough seas — 1.5 to 3 m (5 to 10 feet) over the eastern coastal waters of Cagayan and the northern coastal waters of the Bicol Region. Mariners of motor bancas and similarly-sized vessels are advised to take precautionary measures while venturing out to sea and, if possible, avoid navigating in these conditions, especially if inexperienced or operating ill-equipped vessels.

typhoon ewiniar jtwc forecast track 09z may 27 2024

On the track forecast, the typhoon is forecast to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday afternoon or evening (LT) as a typhoon. It will continue to intensify over the next 24 to 36 hours as it moves northeastward over the Philippine Sea.

A weakening trend may begin on mid or late Wednesday as the typhoon begins interacting with the mid-latitude environment and undergoes post-tropical transition.


1 Typhoon “Aghon” – Tropical Cyclone Bulletin #27 – PAGASA – 09:00 UTC on May 27, 2024


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