Typhoon Ompong strengthens, describes to be as strong as typhoon Lawin

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DAVAO CITY (September 13) — The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), on Thursday morning warned of possible heavy to intense rain, storm surges in coastal areas as typhoon Ompong might enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility this afternoon (Thursday) or tomorrow morning.

As of 10:00 am, Ompong is already 725 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes, moving west at a slower 20 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 30 km/h.

The typhoon continues to have maximum winds of 205 km/h and gustiness of up to 255 km/h.

The forecast shows  possible heavy to intense rain, storm surges in coastal areas,  while very strong winds in Cagayan Valley and CAR beginning Friday, September 14, and in Northern Luzon on Saturday, September 15.

Weather forecaster, Rene Paciente said “Ompong is like lawin sa landfall, may kalakihan ang diameter ni ompong, malakas po ang bagyo natin at siguradong maraming punong tutumbahin kung hindi hihina ang hangin, puede punitin yong yiro, maaring makaapekto sa mga  bagay at bahay.”

According to Paciente, the center of the storm will experience “heavy to intense rains with maximum sustained winds Lawin and Ompong has a similar intensity in terms of landfall.”

The weather center has identified 24 areas under Signal No. 1.

Those areas under Signal No. 1 are in the regions of Cagayan Valley, the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas. Occasional rains with gusty winds are expected.

Ompong might make landfall in the northern tip of Cagayan on Saturday morning.

The National Disaster Risk and Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) has announced that Fishermen and others with small sea vessels are advised not to venture out into the seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1, the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of the Visayas and Mindanao.

Residents of areas affected by the southwest monsoon should be on alert for flash floods and landslides, too.

“Ompong” is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Monday.

Meanwhile, the Philippine Coast Guard reported that hundreds of passengers were stranded in the eastern side of the country on Thursday due to “Ompong”.

Photo: Courtesy PAGASA/DOST

The Philippine Coast Guard said, as of 10:48 a.m., 840 passengers are stranded in Bicol and Eastern Visayas.

In Bicol, some 581 passengers are stranded in the ports of San Pascual with 30, Pasacao 18, Tobaco 116, Bulan 45, Pilar 74 and Matnog 298.

In Eastern Visayas, some 259 passengers are stranded in the ports of Balwarteco with 20, San Isidro 126, Jubasan in Northern Samar 63. At Port of Daram in Western Samar, 50 are stranded.

In Central Visayas, all sea voyages from all ports of Cebu and Bohol have been cancelled effective noon today.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council has been placed on “red alert” along with its Response Cluster,.

Ricardo Jalad, NDRRMC executive director, on Wednesday said “The National Council is closely monitoring actions and preparations on the threats of the incoming typhoon in close coordination with its Regional DRRM Councils. This is to ensure the orchestrated response of the government to address the safety and welfare of communities likely to be affected,” Jalad added in a statement.

Also, the Department of the Interior and Local Government has activated its reporting systems to closely monitor the preparations of local government units concerned particularly the implementation of pre-emptive evacuation.

While the Department of Social Welfare and Development has ensured the prepositioning of food and non-food items on the ground, and is preparing for possible augmentation of relief supplies to affected-communities.

The Department of Health, health teams, medicines and medical supplies have been pre-positioned for immediate access of those in need.

The Office of Civil Defense has ensured that land, air, and sea assets are in place to immediately transport additional teams and supplies to stricken areas if necessary.

Quick response teams (QRTs) have been deployed in the province of Batanes and has established alternative communication devices to ensure that communication lines will remain open during the onslaught of the typhoon.-NewsLine staff

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