"Ompong,” “Rosita,” and “Usman” will no longer be used as names of typhoons entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility in the future, owing to their destructive runs through the country last year.
According to a resolution signed by Vicente Malano, administrator of the state weather bureau, the names were retired after they left dozens of people dead and wrought billions of pesos in damage in 2018.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration will replace those “retired” names with “Obet,” “Rosal,” and “Umberto,” the resolution added.
A storm’s name is retired once it causes at least 300 deaths or leaves at least P1 billion in damage to crops or infrastructure, Pagasa forecaster Jun Galang said.
Meanwhile, international storm “Wutip” weakened from a tropical storm into a low-pressure area as it entered the PAR at 7 p.m. on Thursday,. It was given the local name “Betty,” and will not make landfall anywhere in the country.
In a bulletin issued 11 p.m. on Thursday, Pagasa said “Betty” was 1,385 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan. It bore maximum winds of 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 65 km/h.
It is moving northwest at just 15 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 25 km/h. Due to its distance from land, there are no areas under tropical cyclone warning signals, PAGASA said.
“As such, this tropical cyclone poses no direct threat to any part of the country,” said the state weather bureau in its bulletin.
At its peak, Wutip bore winds of 250 km/h as a Category 5 storm as it tore through Micronesia and Guam.
Betty is the second tropical cyclone to enter the PAR this year, after Tropical Depression “Amang” in January.
Ompong, which hit the Philippines last September last year, left 82 people dead and over P33.9 billion in damage to agriculture and infrastructure.
Rosita left a trail of destruction in October 2018, with 20 people dead and P2.9 billion worth of damage to crops and infrastructure.
The death toll during Typhoon “Usman” in December reached 156, while damage to infrastructure reached P5.4 billion.