MANILA, Philippines - Public storm warning signal number 4 has been raised over more areas in Visayas on Thursday evening after Super Typhoon "Yolanda" slightly accelerated and intensified, state weather bureau PAGASA said.
In a severe weather bulletin issued at 8 p.m., PAGASA said Yolanda was last spotted at 453 kilometers southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar with maximum sustained winds of 225 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 260 kph.
Yolanda is now moving west northwest at 39 kph.
Areas under storm warning signals are the following:
SIGNAL NO. 4
Extreme Northern Cebu
SIGNAL NO. 3
Calamian Group of Islands
Rest of Antique
Northern Negros Occidental
Northern Negros Oriental
Northern Cebu including Cebu City,
SIGNAL NO. 3
Extreme Northern Palawan
Rest of Negros Occidental
Rest of Negros Oriental
Rest of Cebu
Surigao Del Norte
Surigao Del Sur
Agusan del Norte
SIGNAL NO. 1
Rest of Northern Palawan including Puerto Princesa
Agusan del Sur
PAGASA said residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under the storm signals are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides.
Those living in coastal areas under signal nos. 4, 3 and 2 are alerted against storm surges which may reach up to a seven-meter wave height.
The weather bureau said heavy to intense rainfall (10 to 30 millimeters) is expected within the 600-kilometer diameter of the typhoon.
Yolanda is seen to make landfall over the Samar-Leyte area on Friday.
After hitting Guiuan or Abuyog, Leyte, the typhoon is expected to traverse the provinces of Biliran, the northern tip of Cebu, Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Romblon, Semirara Island, the southern part of Mindoro and Busuanga, Palawan.
Yolanda will exit the Philippine landmass on early Saturday morning moving toward the West Philippine Sea.
PAGASA warned that sea travel is risky over the seaboards of Northern Luzon and over the eastern seaboard of Central Luzon.
The approaching super typhoon is considered as the strongest tropical cyclone to hit the country this year and is stronger than last year's deadly Typhoon Pablo.
President Benigno Aquino III said Yolanda poses called for cooperation among citizens as the country braces for Yolanda.
"This is a very real danger, and we can mitigate and lessen its effects if we use the information available to prepare," Aquino said in a televised address.