THE state weather bureau has raised Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) Number 4 in Cagayan and northern Isabela as Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) is moving closer to the country after it accelerated Friday afternoon, September 14.
Residents in Cagayan and northern Isabela were advised to prepare as the typhoon can uproot trees and electric posts and damage houses in these areas, said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
"Sa signal number 4, pwedeng iangat ng hangin ang sasakyan. Ang mga na dadaanan ay posibleng ma-uproot at ang mga bahay, kahit matibay o sementado, ay pwedeg matanggalan ng bobong," said Renito Paciente, assistant weather services chief of Pagasa.
As of 4 p.m. Friday, September 14, the eye of Ompong was located at 340 kilometers east northeast of Casiguran, Aurora. The typhoon is still packing maximum winds of 205 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 255 kph. It accelerated Friday afternoon, moving northwest at 30 kph.
Pagasa said Ompong is still expected to make landfall in Cagayan-Isabela area early morning of Saturday, around 5 a.m. to 8 a.m.
TCWS Number 3 was hoisted over Babuyan Group of Islands, southern Isabela, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Benguet, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and northern Aurora.
TCWS Number 2 was raised over Batanes, La Union, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, southern Aurora, and northern Zambales.
TCWS Number 1 was hoisted over southern Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Bataan, Rizal, Metro Manila, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Quezon including Polillo Island, northern Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island, northern Oriental Mindoro, Masbate, Marinduque, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Burias and Ticao Islands, and Northern Samar.
Pagasa said storm surge-prone areas of Cagayan, Isabela and Ilocos provinces may expect up to six meters of surge early morning of Saturday, September 15.
The weather bureau also said that the southwest monsoon (habagat), enhanced by the typhoon, will bring gusty winds with occasional moderate to heavy rains over Visayas, while scattered light to moderate to at times heavy rains over Palawan, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao and Caraga.
"Residents in these areas, especially those living near river channels, in low-lying areas and in mountainous areas, are advised to take appropriate actions against possible flooding and landslides, coordinate with local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and to continue monitoring for updates," it said.
Pagasa also warned fisherfolk and those with small seacrafts against venturing out over the seaboards of areas with TCWS and the seaboards of Visayas and of Mindanao. (LMY/SunStar Philippines)