By APD writer Melo M. Acuna
MANILA, Spet.13(APD)–With typhoon “Ompong” (international name Mangkhut) keeping its strength as it continues towards Northern Luzon, weather experts said they project the disturbance will hit the Cagayan-Isabela area Saturday morning.
At 4:00 P.M. today, PAGASA (national weather bureau) located “Ompong” some 575 kilometers east northeast of Virac, Catanduanes with sustained winds of up to 205 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 255 kilometers per hour.
It would be at least 360 kilometers east of Casiguran, Aurora tomorrow afternoon if it would not change its course.
By Saturday afternoon, it is expected to be some 75 kilometers west of Laoag City on Ilocos Norte and move west northwest at 25 kilometers per hour. It still has a diameter of 900 kilometers.
PAGASA raised storm signal no. 1 from Batanes to Northern Samar where it has been said to experience occasional rains and gusty winds within 36 hours.
Fisherfolks and those with small sea crafts have been advised not to travel in areas where Storm Signal No. 1 has been raised specially in the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon and the eastern seaboards of Visayas and Mindanao.
Moderate to occasionally heavy rains generated by the southwest monsoon will be experienced in Palawan, Zamboanga Peninsula and Visayas tomorrow.
“Ompong” is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Sunday.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has placed Regions I, II and III and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) under Red Alert status while CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, the National Capital Region, Central Visayas, CARAGA and ARMM under Blue Alert.
NDRRMC Spokesman Edgar Posadas was quoted saying preemptive evacuation measures need to be observed. The government has 85 to 90 percent state of preparedness due to the typhoon where it has been said will trigger heavy rainfall.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Red Cross under Chairman and Senator Richard Gordon has already mobilized their personnel to attend to emergencies.
(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)