TWENTY-seven provinces were placed under tropical cyclone warning signal number 1 as supertyphoon Ompong continues to move westward over the Philippine sea.
This was announced yesterday by National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesman Edgar Posadas.
Provinces under TCWS number 1 are Northern Samar, Batanes, Cagayan including the Babuyan Group of Islands, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Isabela, Benguet, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, Quezon province including Polilio Island, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Burias and Ticao Islands
Posadas said Typhoon Ompong has slightly slowed down as it continues to move westward over the Philippine sea with maximum sustained winds of 205 kms per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 255 kms per hour.
Ompong was.moving west at 20 kms per hour.
The eye of the typhoon was located at 725 kms east of Virac Catanduanes.
Posadas said Ompong continues to threaten Northern Luzon and occasional rains and gusty winds will be experienced over the areas under tropical cyclone warning signal number 1.
Ompong is expected to make landfall in the Northern tip of Cagayan on Saturday morning.
However, Posadas said the forecast may change based on its track.
Posadas said the typhoon enhanced the Habagat or Southwest monsoon.
In line with this, Regional Disaster Risk and Management Councils of Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and all other concerned Regions are placed on red alert.
Also under red alert are NDRRMC emergency operation center, NDRRMC Region 1, Region 2, Regionn3 and CAR.
Regions in Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Regionn5, Region 2, Region 12, NCR, ARMM and Caraga are now on blue alert.
OMPONG’S DIAMETER BIGGER THAN YOLANDA’S
As of yesterday, Ompong’s effect was not yet being felt in several areas but Posadas said we should not stop preparing because during Yolanda, the day before the disaster, the weather was calm.
“Sabi ko ‘wag po tayong pakakasiguro kasi remember yung Yolanda, the day prior, mainit at umaaraw, pero nung kinabukasan yun na yung delubyo,” Posadas said.
He said the diameter of Typhoon Ompong is bigger than Yolanda’s.
He said Yolanda’s diameter was only 600 kms while Ompong has a 900-km diameter.
“In fact 900 kms yung diameter n’ya, if I’m not mistaken Yolanda was just 600 kms so makikita mo yung laki, pero panalo lang si Yolanda sa lakas ng hangin pero sa lawak ng kanyang nasasakupan mas malaki si typhoon Ompong,” Posadas explained.
As an initial preparation for Typhoon Ompong a total of 29 provinces and 30 cities and municipalities in regions 1, 2, 3, Calabarzon Mimaropa 5, 6,7, 8 CAR have suspended their classes in all levels.