MANILA –The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has decommissioned the names of the five most damaging tropical cyclones that entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) last year.
In an interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Chris Perez said the typhoon names Glenda, Jose and Ruby will be replaced by the names Gardo, Josie, and Rosita, and two tropical storms Mario and Seniang were renamed Maymay and Samuel, respectively.
“There are certain requirements in decommissioning the names of tropical cyclones. If it caused 300-400 casualties and Php 1 billion or above cost of damage, then the name will be eliminated from the list and will be replaced by another name,” Perez told Philippines News Agency (PNA).
Perez added that decommissioning will allow the weather bureau to easily recall the details of the most damaging cyclones that hit the country.
“The agency is doing this to avoid confusion and trauma to the public. It will also allow us to keep the historical accounts of bygone cyclones as organized as possible,” Perez explained.
Typhoon Glenda, with its international name Rammasun, hit the country last July 13-17, 2014 with Php 38.616 billion cost of damage, 106 death tolls, 1,250 injured and six missing while Typhoon Jose (international name Halong) battered Northern and Central Luzon with Php 1.623 billion worth of property damage and two reported cases of death last August 2-7, 2014.
Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit), on the other hand, left the country with 933 casualties (18 dead and 915 injured) and Php 3.349 billion cost of property damage on December 4-10, 2014.
Tropical storm Mario (Fung-wong) released heavy rain in many parts of Luzon last September 17-21, 2014 with Php 3.399 billion cost of damage to property and 38 casualties (18 dead, 16 injured and four missing) while tropical storm Seniang (Jangmi) lashed the Eastern Visayas and Central Luzon, causing Php 1.272 billion worth of property damage, 66 dead, 43 injured and six missing last December 28-31, 2014.
The new names of the decommissioned tropical cyclones will be used in 2018.
He also said that the agency choose names for tropical cyclones without letters like “ng,ñ x”; also the names related to the culture of Filipino, and not too long names.
PAGASA early this year released the list of names of tropical cyclones for 2015.
Tropical storm Amang is the first cyclone to have entered the country so far this year.
The other codenames that will be used this year are Betty, Chedeng, Dodong, Egay, Falcon, Goring, Hanna, Ineng, Jenny, Kabayan, Lando, Marilyn, Nonoy, Onyok, Perla, Quiel, Ramon, Sarah, Tisoy, Ursula, Viring, Weng, Yoyoy and Zigzag.
The weather bureau is using four sets of name list. This year’s set of names will be reused in 2019.
Meanwhile, PAGASA said it expects zero to one cyclone to visit the country for month of February.
Every year, an average of about 18 to 20 storms affect the Philippines, PAGASA said.