Signal No. 4 lifted but Typhoon Ompong threat not over
MANILA, Philippines – Signal No. 4 was lifted late Saturday morning, September 15, but 29 areas remain under Signal Nos. 1, 2, and 3 due to Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut).
In a bulletin issued 11 am on Saturday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ompong is already 30 kilometers west of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, with its eye or center no longer over land.
It again slowed down, and is now moving west at 25 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 30 km/h.
The typhoon also continues to weaken. It now has maximum winds of 170 km/h from the previous 185 km/h and gustiness of up to 260 km/h from the previous 305 km/h.
But PAGASA officials stressed that the threat is not yet over. Below are the areas remaining under tropical cyclone warning signals.
Signal No. 3:
- Cagayan including Babuyan Group of Islands
- Ilocos Sur
- Ilocos Norte
- La Union
- Mountain Province
Signal No. 2:
- Nueva Vizcaya
- Nueva Ecija
Signal No. 1:
- Metro Manila
- Lubang Island
- northern part of Quezon including Polillo Island
Ompong had made landfall in Baggao, Cagayan at 1:40 am on Saturday. The typhoon swept away the roof of the Cagayan provincial capitol and damaged the Tuguegarao Airport. (READ: 126,700 Filipinos affected hours after Ompong landfall)
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council earlier estimated that at least 5.2 million people are in the path of the typhoon.
Thousands of people in affected areas had evacuated ahead of Ompong's landfall. (READ: Will Typhoon Ompong be the same as Super Typhoon Lawin?)
Ilocos Norte remains at risk of storm surges up to 6 meters high, while Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan could see storm surges up to 2 meters. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Fishermen and others with small sea vessels are advised not to venture out into the seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone warning signals, the seaboards of Luzon and the Visayas, and the northern and western seaboards of Mindanao.
More than 6,000 passengers have been stranded at various seaports. Domestic and international flights have been canceled. (READ: DFA giving P5,000 aid for OFWs stranded due to Typhoon Ompong)
Classes were also suspended in various regions. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions for September 13, 14, 15)
Aside from directly affecting Luzon, Ompong is enhancing the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat. The enhanced southwest monsoon will trigger gusty winds and moderate to heavy rain in Western Visayas, the Zamboanga Peninsula, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Mimaropa, and Bicol. Scattered light to heavy rains will also hit Eastern Visayas and Central Visayas.
Residents of areas affected by the southwest monsoon should be on alert for flash floods and landslides, too.
Based on its latest forecast track, Ompong might leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday evening. This estimated time of exit could still change if it slows down again.
PAGASA cautioned, however, that even if the eye of the typhoon exits PAR, Ompong could still affect parts of Luzon due to its wide diameter. (READ: COMPARISON: Typhoon Ompong and previous Philippine typhoons)
National government agencies, local government units, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police, and the Philippine Coast Guard were placed on alert to respond to the typhoon. (READ: What gov't has done so far to prepare for Typhoon Ompong)
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said on Saturday that President Rodrigo Duterte is eyeing a trip to affected areas.
Ompong is the Philippines' 15th tropical cyclone for 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)
PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 8. – Rappler.com
News you can use during Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut):
- Weather updates and storm signals
- Reports on evacuation, emergencies, and rescue and relief efforts
- Typhoon Ompong: Free parking at SM, Ayala, Robinsons, Megaworld malls
- #WalangPasok: Class suspensions for September 13, 14, 15
- Canceled flights due to Typhoon Ompong
- Will Typhoon Ompong be the same as Super Typhoon Lawin?
- COMPARISON: Typhoon Ompong and previous Philippine typhoons
- What gov't has done so far to prepare for Typhoon Ompong
- Fact-check on viral stories related to Typhoon Ompong
- DFA giving P5,000 aid for OFWs stranded due to Typhoon Ompong
- 3 dams release water due to Typhoon Ompong
- Power lines affected by Typhoon Ompong
- Roads closed due to Typhoon Ompong