Signal No. 4 was raised in Cagayan and Isabela by late afternoon Friday, several hours before the expected landfall of typhoon “Ompong” (international name: Mangkhut), the state weather bureau said.
The typhoon also further accelerated ahead of the landfall on Saturday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) added.
Meanwhile, the following tropical cyclone signals were hoisted over various areas of Luzon:
Signal No. 3
Babuyan Group of Islands
Signal No. 2
Signal No. 1
Quezon, including Polillo Islands
Northern Occidental Mindoro, including Lubang Islands
Northern Oriental Mindoro
Ompong sped up at 30 kilometers per hour (kph), moving northwest. It was moving towards land with maximum sustained winds of 205 kph near the center and gusts of up to 255 kph.
The typhoon, the strongest to hit the country this year, began lashing Cagayan and Isabela with its heavy rains and powerful winds on Friday afternoon.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said at least 5 million people are in the typhoon’s path. More than 10,000 people have voluntarily fled their homes ahead of the onslaught.
Ompong, estimated at 900 kilometers wide, is expected to dump massive amounts of rainfall in Northern and Central Luzon.
Ompong was last spotted 340 kilometers east northeast of Casiguran, Aurora, and is expected to be out of the Philippine area of responsibility on Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Pagasa said Palawan, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga will have moderate to heavy rains due to the southwest monsoon enhanced by the typhoon. /kga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.