MANILA, Philippines – Practically the entire Luzon was placed under Signal No. 1 on Thursday afternoon, September 13, as Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) maintained its strength while threatening Northern Luzon.
In a bulletin issued 5 pm on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ompong is already 575 kilometers east northeast of Virac, Catanduanes, moving west northwest at a slightly faster 25 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 20 km/h.
The typhoon continues to have maximum winds of 205 km/h and gustiness of up to 255 km/h.
Signal No. 1 is now raised in:
Occasional rains with gusty winds are expected in areas under Signal No. 1 within the next 36 hours.
PAGASA warned there may be heavy to intense rain, storm surges in coastal areas, and very strong winds in Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera Administrative Region beginning Friday, September 14, and in Northern Luzon on Saturday, September 15. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Ompong might make landfall in the Cagayan-Isabela area early Saturday morning. (READ: Will Typhoon Ompong be the same as Super Typhoon Lawin?)
Fishermen and others with small sea vessels are advised not to venture out into the seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1, the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of the Visayas and Mindanao.
Class suspensions have already been announced for the rest of the week. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions for September 13, 14, 15)
Image from PAGASA
The typhoon is also enhancing the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat. The enhanced southwest monsoon could trigger moderate to heavy rain in Palawan, the Zamboanga Peninsula, and the Visayas from Friday to Saturday.
Residents of areas affected by the southwest monsoon should be on alert for flash floods and landslides, too.
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)
News you can use during Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut):