By Nonoy Lacson
ZAMBOANGA CITY – Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Zamboanga Station has issued yesterday a stern warning to the public not to travel by sea as typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut) has entered the Philippines.
PCG Zamboanga station chief Lt Commander Noriel Ramos said that based on satellite monitoring of the weather disturbance, the super typhoon has entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) Wednesday night.
“We already issued a warning to small crafts to refrain from navigating and fishing because it will be very dangerous for them, mas mabuting ipagpaliban muna nilang mangisda hanggat makaalis na sa bansa ang super typhoon na ito (it is better to not go to sea at this time until the country is safe from the typhoon),” Ramos said.
the Zamboanga City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (ZCDRRMO) on Wednesday morning raised the highest alert in a 3-step system as “Ompong” (Mangkhut) barrels towards the Philippines.
The tropical cyclone is currently packing maximum sustained winds of 259 kilometers per hour with gusts reaching almost 315 kph, according to the weather bureau PAGASA.
Ramos said that his command is already monitoring since yesterday the track of the super typhoon as it threatens the entire country.
Although its present track remains to threaten Northern Luzon and may traverse the Cagayan-Batanes area, PAGASA said, the Mindanao region is still vulnerable to any devastation because the diameter of the typhoon measures around 600 kilometers, its outer bands may also affect the entire Mindanao region.
Mangkhut will intensify the southwest monsoon (habagat) which will cause rains over Cagayan, Isabela, Apayao, Kalinga. Abra, Ilocos Norte, Batanes and the Babuyan islands.