Signal No. 3 in Isabela as Ompong maintains strength

What's the weather like in your area? Report the situation through Rappler's Agos or tweet us at @rapplerdotcom.

MANILA, Philippines – Signal No. 3 is now raised in Isabela due to Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut), which maintained its strength before dawn on Friday, September 14, while still threatening Northern Luzon.

In a bulletin issued 5 am on Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ompong is already 655 kilometers east of Infanta, Quezon, moving west northwest at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The typhoon continues to have maximum winds of 205 km/h and gustiness of up to 255 km/h. Even if PAGASA does not yet classify Ompong as a super typhoon, it remains to be a powerful tropical cyclone with a huge diameter of 900 kilometers.

Below are the tropical cyclone warning signals in place.

Signal No. 3:

Signal No. 2:

Signal No. 1:

Stormy weather is expected in areas under Signal Nos. 2 and 3, while there will be occasional rains and gusty winds in areas under Signal No. 1.

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, 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?)

PAGASA warned that when Ompong hits land, serious floods and landslides are possible, while many trees could get uprooted and homes made of light materials may be damaged. (READ: Duterte sends Cabinet members to Luzon provinces in Ompong's path)

Fishermen and others with small sea vessels are also advised not to venture out into the seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone warning signals, and in the eastern seaboards of the Visayas and Mindanao.

More than 3,500 passengers have been stranded in various ports. Several flights have also been canceled.

Class suspensions were also announced for the rest of the week. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions for September 13, 14, 15)

Based on its latest forecast track, Ompong might leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday evening or early Sunday morning, September 16. It had entered PAR last Wednesday afternoon, September 12.

Forecast track of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) as of September 14, 2018, 5 am. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) as of September 14, 2018, 5 am.

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 the Visayas, and light to heavy rain in Palawan, the Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga. 

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)

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 8. – Rappler.com

News you can use during Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut):