(UPDATED) THE central and southern portions of Cebu and several other areas in the Visayas and Mindanao were placed under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) Number 3 as Typhoon "Odette" (Rai) continued to move closer to Dinagat Islands and Siargao-Bucas Grande Islands.

The typhoon was forecast to make landfall in the vicinity of Dinagat Islands, Siargao-Bucas Grande Islands, or the northern portion of Surigao del Sur Thursday noon or early afternoon, December 16.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that Odette “undergoes rapid intensification as it continues to approach the vicinity of Dinagat Island and Siargao-Bucas Grande Island” early morning Thursday.

As of 4 a.m., the center of the typhoon was located at 265 kilometer east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte, packing maximum winds of 165 kilometers per hour (km/h) near the center, gusts of up to 205 km/h, and central pressure of 950 hPa while moving west northwestward at 25 km/h.

Pagasa said strong winds or higher may extend outwards up to 480 kilometer from the typhoon’s center.

TCWS 3 was hoisted over these areas:


Southern Leyte, the southern portion of Leyte (Abuyog, Mahaplag, City of Baybay, Inopacan, Hindang, Hilongos, Bato, Matalom, Javier), Bohol, and the central and southern portions of Cebu (Lapu-Lapu City, Cordova, Carmen, Danao City, Compostela, Liloan, Consolacion, Mandaue City, Cebu City, City of Talisay, Minglanilla, City of Naga, San Fernando, Ginatilan, Samboan, Santander, Oslob, Badian, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Malabuyoc, Alegria, Argao, Catmon, Tuburan, Asturias, Sogod, Balamban, Toledo City, Pinamungahan, City of Carcar, Aloguinsan, Barili, Dumanjug, Sibonga, Moalboal, Ronda, Alcantara) including Camotes Islands


Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, the northern portion of Agusan del Norte (Tubay, Santiago, Jabonga, Kitcharao), and the northern portion of Surigao del Sur (Carrascal, Cantilan, Madrid, Carmen, Lanuza, Cortes, City of Tandag)

Areas under TCWS 2 were:


Sorsogon, Masbate including Burias and Ticao Islands, Cuyo Islands, Cagayancillo Islands, the southern portion of Oriental Mindoro (Bongabong, Roxas, Mansalay, Bulalacao), and Romblon


Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, the rest of Leyte, the rest of Cebu including Bantayan Islands, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental, Siquijor, Guimaras, Iloilo, Antique, Capiz, and Aklan


The rest of Surigao del Sur, the rest of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, the northern portion of Bukidnon (Malitbog, Impasug-Ong, Manolo Fortich, Libona, Baungon, Sumilao), Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, the northern portion of Misamis Occidental (Lopez Jaena, Plaridel, Baliangao, Calamba, Sapang Dalaga, Concepcion, Oroquieta City, Aloran), and the extreme northern portion of Zamboanga del Norte (Rizal, Sibutad, Dapitan City, Dipolog City, Polanco, Piñan, La Libertad, Mutia)

TCWS 1 was raised over:


Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Burias Island, Marinduque, the southern portion of Quezon (San Antonio, Tiaong, Candelaria, Sariaya, Dolores, Lucena City, Pagbilao, Padre Burgos, Atimonan, Agdangan, Unisan, Gumaca, Plaridel, Pitogo, Lopez, Guinayangan, Buenavista, Catanauan, General Luna, Macalelon, Mulanay, San Narciso, San Andres, San Francisco, Tagkawayan, Calauag, Quezon, Alabat, City of Tayabas, Perez), Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, mainland Palawan including Balabac, Calamian, and Kalayaan Islands


The northern portion of Davao Oriental (Baganga, Cateel, Boston), the northern portion of Davao de Oro (Laak, Mawab, Nabunturan, Montevista, Monkayo, New Bataan, Compostela), the northern portion of Davao del Norte (Talaingod, Santo Tomas, Kapalong, Asuncion, San Isidro, New Corella), the rest of Misamis Occidental, the rest of Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, the northern portion of Zamboanga del Norte (Labason, Kalawit, Tampilisan, Liloy, Salug, Godod, Bacungan, Sindangan, Siayan, Jose Dalman, Manukan, Pres. Manuel A. Roxas, Katipunan, Sergio Osmeña Sr., Gutalac, Baliguian), the northern portion of Zamboanga del Sur (Bayog, Lakewood, Kumalarang, Guipos, Mahayag, Dumalinao, Tukuran, Tambulig, Ramon Magsaysay, Aurora, Molave, Sominot, Tigbao, Labangan, Josefina, Pagadian City, Midsalip, Dumingag), and the northern portion of Zamboanga Sibugay (Titay, Ipil, Naga, Kabasalan, Siay, Diplahan, Buug)

Pagasa said that today, December 16, until early morning Friday, December 17, heavy to torrential rains will be experienced over Caraga, Central Visayas, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, Southern Leyte, and Negros Occidental, and moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Leyte, the southern portions of Eastern Samar and Samar, Zamboanga del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, and the rest of Northern Mindanao.

There will be light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Bicol Region, Quezon, and the rest of Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and mainland Bangsamoro.

Based on Pagasa’s forecast track, Odette will continue to move generally westward over the Philippine Sea and the center of its eye was forecast to make its initial landfall in the vicinity of Dinagat Islands, Siargao-Bucas Grande Islands, or the northern portion of Surigao del Sur Thursday noon or early afternoon.

Afterwards, the center of Odette will move westward and cross several provinces in Central and Western Visayas regions before emerging over the Sulu Sea Friday morning.

After passing near or in the vicinity of either Cuyo or Cagayancillo archipelago, Odette was forecast to cross the northern or central portion of Palawan Friday afternoon or evening before emerging over the West Philippine Sea.

Pagasa said Odette will continue to intensify until it makes landfall Thursday afternoon, December 16, and considering the recent trend in its intensification, the typhoon may reach a pre-landfall peak intensity of 175 to 195 km/h prior to landfall.

It added, though, that Odette may see some slight weakening as it crosses northeastern Mindanao, Visayas, and Palawan, but it was forecast to remain as a typhoon.

“Re-intensification is likely once the typhoon emerges over the West Philippine Sea. However, weakening may ensue beginning Sunday as the typhoon becomes exposed to increasing vertical wind shear and the surge of the Northeast Monsoon,” said Pagasa. (SunStar Philippines)