MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – Typhoon Pablo may make landfall in Ilocos Norte Sunday morning, state weather bureau PAGASA said on Saturday.
Ilocos region and Zambales are advised to prepare for stormy weather on Sunday.
PAGASA weather forecaster Jori Loiz said landfall may occur between 8 a.m. to 10 a.m., if the typhoon maintains its current speed of 17 kilometers per hour.
He warned that the provinces of Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and La Union, which are under public storm warning signal number 2, are prone to storm surges.
Loiz said as soon as Pablo left Palawan, there were signs that the typhoon may loop towards the northern part of the country, but the typhoon's track was only confirmed on Saturday.
Heavy to intense rainfall is expected within the typhoon's 300-kilometer footprint.
However, PAGASA forecaster Robert Sawi noted that the typhoon is expected to weaken once it hits land and may eventually dissipate.
“Hindi na natin inaasahan na lalabas pa ito ng PAR, it will totally dissipate pagkatapos niya bagtasin ang Northern Luzon. Manghihina na ng tuluyan ito at hindi na lalabas ng PAR,” said Sawi.
The following areas, meanwhile, are under signal number 1:
- Calayan islands
- Babuyan islands
- Mountain Province
Pablo, which made landfall in Davao Oriental on Tuesday, was earlier expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday.
However, but a high-pressure ridge blocked its path and forced it to move east northeast.
It was last spotted 115 kilometers west of Vigan City as of 10 p.m. Sunday, carrying maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph.
The typhoon is moving east at 15 kph and is expected to be at 90 km northeast of Tuguegarao City by Sunday night.
It is likely to bring heavy rainfall to northern Luzon, civil defense office director Benito Ramos told a news conference.
"People there need to take precautions," he added.
"Residents living in low lying and mountainous areas under public storm warning signal #2 and #1 are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas under public storm warning signal #2 are alerted against big waves or storm surges generated by this tropical cyclone," PAGASA said in its 11 p.m. advisory.
"Fishing boats and other sea vessels are advised not to venture out into the seaboard of Northern Luzon and the western seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon," it added.
The latest National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite images show the typhoon apparently making landfall and breaking up.
However, the UK Met Office told ABS-CBNNews.com on Twitter that the typhoon's low level center was still offshore as of 1 a.m. local time Sunday.
Pablo smashed into the east coast of the southern island of Mindanao with gusts of up to 210 kilometers an hour on Tuesday.
At least 548 people have been killed and about 500 others missing.
Some 212,000 other people have also been left homeless, according to the civil defense office. -- with a report from Agence France-Presse