Typhoon 'Ompong' slams into Luzon at full strength

Matikas Santos - Philstar.com
Typhoon 'Ompong' slams into Luzon at full strength
State weather agency PAGASA said late Friday evening that the eye of the 900 km-wide Ompong is expected to make landfall in Cagayan between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. after several days at full strength while slowly moving over closer to the Philippines.

MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon "Ompong" (international name: Mangkhut) slammed into the Philippines largest island of Luzon with its 205 kph winds Friday evening.

State weather agency PAGASA said late Friday evening that the eye of the 900 km-wide Ompong is expected to make landfall in Cagayan between 1 a.m. to 3 a.m. after several days at full strength while slowly moving closer to the Philippines.

Ompong continues to pack maximum winds of up to 205 kph and gustiness of up to 255 kph as it continues moving at 30 kph west northwest, PAGASA said.

Department of Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato Dela Pena said during the 11 p.m. weather briefing that "Its a bit saddening because the typhoon is not losing strength."

"We hope that all of our countrymen in the affected areas are taking precautions and have safely evacuated," he added

READ: Stunning but scary: Typhoon Ompong as seen from space

"Even before the 900 km-wide Typhoon 'Ompong' makes landfall, our country is already experiencing the strong winds and rains particularly in northern Luzon," PAGASA weather specialist Loriedin Dela Cruz said during the briefing.

Ompong was described as posing "a serious threat" by PAGASA while the eye of Ompong was seen 190 km East of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

Cagayan and neighboring areas of Ilocos Norte, northern Isabela, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Babuyan Group of Island have all been placed under Signal No. 4 as of 10 p.m.

READ: Philippines starts evacuations along coast as super typhoon nears

Storm warning signals have been raised in the following areas:

Signal No. 4 (Winds of 171 to 220 kph within 12 hours)

  1. Ilocos Norte
  2. Cagayan
  3. Northern Isabela
  4. Apayao
  5. Abra
  6. Kalinga
  7. Babuyan Group of Islands

Signal No. 3 (Winds of 121 to 170 kph within 18 hours)

  1. Batanes
  2. Southern Isabela
  3. Ilocos Sur
  4. La Union
  5. Mountain Province
  6. Benguet
  7. Ifugao
  8. Nueva Vizcaya
  9. Quirino
  10. Northern Aurora

Signal No. 2 (Winds of 61 to 120 kph within 24 hours)

  1. Pangasinan
  2. Tarlac
  3. Nueva Ecija
  4. Southern Aurora
  5. Zambales
  6. Pampanga
  7. Bulacan
  8. Northern Quezon including Polillo Island

Signal No. 1 (Winds of 30 to 60 kph within 36 hours)

  1. Bataan
  2. Rizal
  3. Metro Manila
  4. Cavite
  5. Batangas
  6. Laguna
  7. Rest of Quezon
  8. Lubang Island
  9. Marinduque
  10. Camarines Norte
  11. Camarines Sur
  12. Catanduanes
  13. Albay
  14. Burias Island

Ompong is the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2018, according to PAGASA.

READ: Powerful, rotating thunderstorms surround 'Ompong' — NASA

Evacuations and class suspensions have been ordered by the government ahead of Ompong which is expected to affect over 5 million Filipinos.

Cabinet secretaries have been ordered by President Duterte to go to the areas that are expected to be worst hit by Ompong so they can directly oversee emergency response.

READ: ‘Ompong’ to affect 5.2 million people – NDRRMC

The US Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has classified Ompong as a Super Typhoon Mangkhut on September 11, Tuesday, even before it entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday.

READ: What to do before, during, after typhoon

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As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: September 18, 2018 - 11:36am

Typhoon Mangkhut is feared to gain strength as it approaches the Philippine area of responsibility. The tropical cyclone will be named "Ompong" once within the country's vicinity.

The United States Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center records that "Mangkhut" has maximum sustained winds of 80 knots or 148 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 185 kilometers per hour as of Monday morning.

Forecast track of the cyclone shows that it is heading toward the northernmost tip of the country's water off northern Luzon by Friday.

September 18, 2018 - 11:36am

The Department of the Interior and Local Government tallies 66 dead, 62 missing in wake of Typhoon Ompong, ONE News reports.

The department says it will also look into potential lapses in local governments' disaster preparations.

September 18, 2018 - 10:02am

The United Church of Christ in the Philippines clarifies Tuesday that a church reported to have collapsed in a landslide in Itogon, Benguet was an old bunkhouse that was being used as a place of worship by United Church Fellowship (Pentecostal Group).

The casualty figure on Monday was at 56 dead but the figure is expected to rise, with around 40 to 50 people believed to still be buried in the mud as search and retrieval operations continue.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, who said he is a member of UCCP, on Monday played down President Rodrgo Duterte's remark over the weekend that the "church" would not have collapsed if people had replaced the priest there. He also said priests are stupid.

"Ang tingin ko naman po, hindi naman po seryoso ang presidente. Let's not take his words always literally," Roque said.

Benguet was one of the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) over the weekend.

September 17, 2018 - 3:53pm

Philippine and Chinese authorities say the death toll from a typhoon has risen to at least 69 with dozens missing.

Mangkhut weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning as it moved deeper into southern China, where rain and strong winds were expected to continue through Tuesday.

A Philippine national police report said the death toll as of Monday midday was 65, with 43 people missing and 64 injured. Chinese authorities reported four deaths from falling trees and building materials in Guangdong, China's manufacturing hub.

Many of the missing in the Philippines are gold miners and their families feared buried in a landslide after seeking shelter in a bunkhouse-turned-chapel in a village in Benguet province.

Mangkhut battered the northern Philippines on Saturday before slamming into southern China on Sunday. It was the most powerful typhoon to hit Hong Kong since 1979, packing winds of 195 kilometers per hour (121 mph). — AP

September 17, 2018 - 3:53pm

Mangkhut has weakened from a typhoon to a tropical storm as it moves deeper into China.

The storm was still affecting southern China's coast and the provinces of Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan on Monday morning and rain and strong winds were expected to continue through Tuesday.

Hong Kong residents were being told to stay away from the coastline and be on alert for occasional gales. Bus, ferry and rail services were suspended and almost 900 flights were canceled at the city's airport, one of the world's busiest. The South China Morning Post said Hong Kong's hospitals had to use backup power due to outages caused by the storm.

Mangkhut earlier lashed the Philippines, sparking landslides and building collapses that killed at least 64 people. At least two deaths have been reported in China. As of Monday morning Mangkhut was on track to pass over the Guangxi regional capital of Nanning.

The Hong Kong Observatory reported Mangkhut was the most powerful cyclone to hit the city since 1979, packing maximum sustained gusts of 195 kilometers per hour (121 mph). — AP

September 16, 2018 - 12:35pm

Australia is providing A$800,000 (P30.9 million) worth of humanitarian supplies to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Ompong. This includes sleeping mats, blankets and hygiene and shelter kits for up to 25,000 people in the most affected areas.

These supplies are being distributed by the Philippine Red Cross.

Australia also deployed humanitarian experts to the Philippines.

"Our Embassy is coordinating closely with Philippine authorities and our international partners... We stand ready to provide further assistance, if requested by the Philippine Government," the Australian government says.


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