Super Typhoon ‘Ompong’ stirs northern seas
MANILA, Philippines–Forecasters of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) expect Typhoon “Ompong” (international name: Vongfong)—by far the year’s strongest cyclone—to exit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Saturday afternoon.
Forecaster Buddy Javier said that as of 4 p.m. Thursday, the typhoon was estimated at 866 kilometers east of Calayan, Cagayan, and 825 kilometers east of Itbayat, Batanes, with maximum sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 240 kph, moving north at 9 kph.
The estimated amount of rainfall within the 700-km diameter of the typhoon is heavy to intense at 7.5 mm per hour to 25 mm per hour.
While Ompong is not expected to make landfall, its enhancement of northeasterly winds is causing sea conditions over the northern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon as well as the eastern seaboard of Luzon and the Visayas to be rough to very rough, according to Javier.
Ompong is classified as a super typhoon by the Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Javier advised fishing boats and other small sea craft against venturing into the seaboards, which are anticipated to be affected by strong to gale force winds. He also alerted bigger vessels to waves that could reach up to 5 meters.
Although the northeast monsoon, locally known as the “amihan,” is already prevailing over Luzon and parts of the Visayas, it is still too soon to declare its onset, Javier told the Inquirer.
The forecaster said the northeast monsoon is dominant in Luzon and in most parts of the Visayas but the southwest monsoon, or “habagat,” is still prevailing over the southern part of the Visayas and Mindanao.
Javier said the onset of the northeast monsoon, which is usually associated with the Christmas season, is expected by next week when the northeast monsoon prevails over the entire archipelago.
In Pagasa’s forecast for Friday, the Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula and the Cotabato provinces as well as Palawan will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms while the Cagayan Valley region will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rains.
Metro Manila and the rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.
Inquirer calls for support for the victims of typhoon Ompong
Responding to appeals for help, the Philippine Daily Inquirer is extending its relief to victims of the recent typhoon Ompong.
Cash donations may be deposited in the Inquirer Foundation Corp. Banco De Oro (BDO) Current Account No: 007960018860 and Swift Code: BNORPHMM.
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