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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – A number of provinces in northern Luzon are still under public storm warning signal number 2 as Typhoon Lando (Koppu) continues its slow march in the area Monday, October 19.
As of 10 am, the center of the typhoon was located 20 km west of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, with maximum sustained winds of up to 120 km/h near the center and gusts of up to 150 km/h.
PAGASA has raised signal number 2 in the following areas:
- Ilocos Norte
- Ilocos Sur
- La Union
- Mountain Province
Meanwhile, signal number 1 is still in effect in these areas:
- Nueva Ecija
- Nueva Vizcaya
Storm signals 3 and 4 have been lowered, while storm signals in other areas have been lowered.
Heavy to intense rainfall is still expected within the storm’s 600 km diameter, the bureau said.
Lando continues moving at a speed of 5 km/h, and is moving towards the north-northeast, PAGASA said. The speed of the typhoon is being affected by another storm to the east, Typhoon Champi, and the presence of a high pressure area, the bureau said.
Meanwhile, Champi is still too far to affect the country, and is not expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).
Lando is forecast to weaken further, and could be downgraded into a tropical storm by Tuesday, October 20, as it heads towards Taiwan.
The system is expected to linger within the PAR until the weekend.
The typhoon has caused massive flooding across large areas of Luzon, and has so far killed two people and left thousands temporarily homeless. (READ: Rescue trucks make way to flooded hospitals, villages in Nueva Ecija)
Residents of Cabanatuan City, for example, said it’s the worst typhoon they’ve seen in recent history.
The slow-moving typhoon unleashed torrential rain over three major mountain ranges on Sunday, October 18, and the runoff has since swamped the vast rice-farming plains north of Manila, rescue officials said.
About 70 villages were under water in the spreading floods, with many resident calling for rescue from small numbers of military, local government and volunteer rescue units, said Nigel Lontoc, a regional rescue official. (READ: 64 rescued in Cabanatuan)
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) called on volunteer responders in Metro Manila and areas near Central Luzon to immediately proceed to Aurora, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, and Pampanga to assist in rescue operations. – With reports from Agence France-Presse and Pia Ranada / Rappler.com