MANILA, Philippines – Forecasters advised parts of Luzon to brace for Typhoon Mangkhut, which could enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday, September 12, and possibly become a super typhoon.
In a bulletin released past 5 pm on Monday, September 10, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Mangkhut is already 2,255 kilometers east of southern Luzon, still outside PAR.
It is moving west at a relatively fast 35 kilometers per hour (km/h).
Mangkhut intensified further, and now has maximum winds of 150 km/h from the previous 140 km/h and gustiness of up to 185 km/h from the previous 170 km/h.
Since it is still over water, it might strengthen into a super typhoon, the strongest tropical cyclone category. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
If Mangkhut does enter PAR on Wednesday, it would be given the local name Ompong. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)
The typhoon may pass through the Cagayan-Batanes area, so PAGASA advised residents of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon to prepare as early as now.
"Habang malayo pa ang bagyong ito, maghanda na po tayo...at alamin ang ating mga ligtas na lugar kung sakaling magkaroon po tayo ng mga malalakas na ulan na maaring magdulot ng pagbaha at pagguho ng lupa, at gano'n din 'yung malakas na hangin," said PAGASA Weather Specialist Aldczar Aurelio in a Facebook Live video late Monday afternoon.
(While the typhoon is still far away, let's prepare...and be aware of the safe places to go to in case we get heavy rain which may trigger floods and landslides, as well as strong winds.)
PAGASA is also monitoring Tropical Depression Neneng, which is bringing rain to Northern Luzon. Read the forecast on Neneng as of Monday afternoon here.