Thousands flee in Isabela, Cagayan ahead of Typhoon Ompong landfall

CAGAYAN, Philippines – Thousands of people fled their homes as Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) barreled toward Northern Luzon.

Isabela provincial disaster management chief Edmund Guzman said 2,528 individuals were already evacuated in the province as of Friday, September 14.

Guzman said the evacuees are from the coastal towns of Maconacon, Palanan, Divilacan, and Dinapigue. These areas could be at risk of storm surges caused by Ompong.

He added that residents in the landslide-prone towns of Jones and Benito Soliven are also advised to evacuate.

In Cagayan province, thousands of people were also brought to evacuation centers.

As of Thursday night, September 13, the provincial disaster unit said 1,572 individuals were evacuated in the coastal towns of Gonzaga, Aparri, and Pamplona, and in the town of Lal-lo.

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba alerted his officials to prepare as they expect more evacuees on Friday.

"The number of evacuees is expected to increase because of the trauma and fear they have experienced during the Lawin super typhoon in their houses," Mamba said, referring to Super Typhoon Lawin (Haima) which struck in October 2016. (READ: Will Typhoon Ompong be the same as Super Typhoon Lawin?)

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration said Ompong is expected to make landfall in the Cagayan-Isabela area early Saturday morning, September 15. (READ: Duterte sends Cabinet members to Luzon provinces in Ompong's path) – Rappler.com

News you can use during Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut):