Labuyo is 'strongest' typhoon to hit PH so far this year

By Shiela Reyes,

Posted at Aug 11 2013 11:33 AM | Updated as of Aug 12 2013 07:44 AM

MTSAT ENHANCED-IR Satellite Image as of 4:32 p.m., 11 August 2013

MANILA -- (UPDATE 3) Typhoon Labuyo has intensified as it continues to threaten Northern Luzon, particularly the provinces of Aurora and Isabela.

As of 10 p.m. Sunday, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Labuyo was spotted at 160 kilometers northeast of Virac, Catanduanes and 110 kilometers east southeast of Casiguran, Aurora.

It is packing maximum winds of 175 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of 210 kilometers per hour.

It is moving slowly in a west northwest direction at 19 kilometers per hour.

Labuyo is expected to make a landfall in Aurora-Isabela area on Monday morning.

PAGASA expects Labuyo to be out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Tuesday evening.

Several areas are now under signal number 3: Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Pollillo Island, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, Quirino, Abra, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Kalinga, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan.

Signal number 2, on the other hand, is hoisted over: Northern Quezon, Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales and Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands

Metro Manila, meanwhile, remains under signal number one.

Other areas under signal number one are: Batanes, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Rest of Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes.

PAGASA said residents in low lying and mountainous areas with storm signals should be vigilant against possible flashfloods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas under signal no. 3 and no. 2 are alerted against storm surges.

In an earlier press conference, PAGASA officer-in-charge Vicente Malano said Labuyo is the "strongest" typhoon so far to hit the country.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary Eduardo Del Rosario said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has already declared a red alert at 8 a.m. on Sunday over areas that would most be affected by Labuyo.

As of 3 p.m. Sunday, Del Rosario said a 7,581 passengers, 33 vessels and 228 rolling cargos were stranded.