By Alexandria San Juan
The state weather bureau has raised tropical cyclone warning signal number 2 in Isabela on Thursday evening due to typhoon Ompong (international name Mangkhut).
As of 10 p.m. update of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the eye of Ompong was located based on all available data at 740 km East of Infanta, Quezon or 485 km East Northeast of Virac, Catanduanes (15.0 °N, 128.5 °E ).
Ompong is moving west at 20 kph. Maximum sustained winds of 205 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 255 kph.
PAGASA has placed typhoon signal number 1 over provinces of Batanes, Cagayan incl. Babuyan group of Islands, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, Pangasinan, La Union, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Rizal, Metro Manila, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna Quezon incl. Polillo Island, Northern Occidental Mindoro incl. Lubang Island, Northern Oriental Mindoro, Masbate, Marinduque, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Burias and Ticao Island, and Northern Samar.
Areas put under signal number 1 are expected to feel the impact of 30-60 kilometer per hours wind within 36 hours.
Meanwhile, signal number 2 was placed under Isabela.
Winds of greater than 60 kph and up to 100 kph may be expected in at least 24 hours in the areas put under signal number 2.
The weather bureau said there is a possibility to raise higher warning signals to more areas while Ompong is moving closer toward Northern Luzon.
PAGASA senior weather specialist Chris Perez said that Ompong remains on track and still threatening Northern Luzon.
The typhoon may traverse the Cagayan-Batanes area on Saturday and is expected to make a landfall at the northern tip of Cagayan on Saturday morning.
Perez advised residents of Central Luzon and parts of Southern Luzon to also monitor the typhoon and stay vigilant on its possible effects considering its system size of 500 kilometers in diameter.
PAGASA added that fisherfolks and those with small seacrafts are advised not to venture out over the seaboards of areas under signal number 1 due to rough to very rough sea conditions.
Sea travel is risky as gale warning was raised over the northern and eastern seaboards of Luzon and the eastern seaboards of Visayas and Mindanao.