MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) made landfall in Baggao, Cagayan at 1:40 am on Saturday, September 15.
Thousands of people earlier evacuated in Cagayan, and thousands more in other areas as well. (READ: Will Typhoon Ompong be the same as Super Typhoon Lawin?)
In a bulletin issued 2 am on Saturday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ompong slightly accelerated after making landfall, and is now moving west northwest at 35 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 30 km/h.
Ompong has maximum winds of 205 km/h and gustiness of up to 285 km/h. Though it is not a super typhoon under PAGASA's classification system, it remains a powerful tropical cyclone with a huge diameter of 900 kilometers.
Below are the tropical cyclone warning signals in place.
Signal No. 4:
Signal No. 3:
Signal No. 2:
Signal No. 1:
Stormy weather is being experienced in Signal Nos. 2, 3, and 4, while there are occasional rains and gusty winds in areas under Signal No. 1. PAGASA warned that serious floods and landslides are possible, while many trees could get uprooted and homes made of light materials may be damaged.
Coastal areas in Cagayan and Ilocos Norte could also experience storm surges up to 6 meters high, Isabela up to 3 meters, and Ilocos Sur, La Union, and Pangasinan 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, and in the seaboards of the Visayas and Mindanao.
More than 4,800 passengers have been stranded in various ports. 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)
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council earlier estimated that at least 5.2 million people are in the path of the typhoon.
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.
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)
News you can use during Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut):