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‘Caloy’ only a tropical depression; Luzon not under Signal No. 4

Tropical depression “Caloy” never strengthened into a super typhoon, much less raised the public storm warning to Signal No. 4 over Luzon, contrary to a misleading claim by a YouTube video.

YouTube user CNTV misrepresented the state weather bureau’s forecast of tropical depression Caloy over certain areas in Luzon on June 29. It bore the headline:

BAGYONG CALOY, SUPER TYPHOON NA! SIGNAL NO. 4! TATAMA SA LUZON! MAGHANDA NA (Typhoon Caloy, already a super typhoon! Signal No. 4! It will hit Luzon! Prepare)!

The video, however, accurately described Caloy as a tropical depression with maximum wind speed of 45 kph and gusts of 55 kph.

In its over one-minute long video, CNTV used an audio clip of Chris Perez, senior weather specialist at the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

Perez, who delivered an update on Caloy at 5 p.m. that same day, said no tropical cyclone wind signal was raised due to the tropical depression. He added that Caloy would exit the Philippine area of responsibility within 24 hours.

While Caloy did not make landfall in the Philippines, it enhanced the southwest monsoon that was expected to bring moderate to heavy rains over Palawan, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas and Laguna.

According to Pagasa’s latest classification, a tropical depression, or the weakest type of tropical cyclone, has a maximum sustained winds of up to 61 kph. It can only become a super typhoon when the tropical cyclone’s maximum wind speed reaches 185 kph or above.

Once a tropical cyclone approaches the country’s landmass, Pagasa also raises tropical cyclone wind signals in affected areas based on corresponding wind speeds.

Of its five-tiered modified signal system, Pagasa only raises the wind signal to Signal No. 4 – or the second to the highest – when the tropical cyclone has sustained wind speeds of 118 to 184 kph and has significant to severe threat to life and property.

As of writing, CNTV’s video has received 75,868 views and 705 likes (JC).


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