Track of typhoon "Ompong". Image courtesy of PAGASA.
MANILA – Typhoon ''Ompong'' (international name ''Vongfong'') has gotten stronger but state weather bureau PAGASA said Filipinos can heave a sigh of relief as the massive cyclone is not expected to hit the Philippines.
PAGASA weather forecaster Fernando Cada said Ompong, which has reached Category 5 status, would not have any direct effect over the Philippines as the typhoon was headed towards southern Japan.
In its 11 a.m. weather bulletin, PAGASA said Ompong was moving west northwest at 9 kilometers per hour.
Meanwhile, Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) said Ompong could reach its peak strength on Thursday morning, packing one-minute sustained winds of 305 kph and gusts of up to 370 kph while it is over the Philippine Sea.
JTWC, however, said Ompong will get weaker as it approaches the southern portion of Japan.
JTWC estimates that the eye of the super typhoon will be within the vicinity of Japan's Amami islands by Sunday morning.
By then, it will be packing one-minute sustained winds of 185 kph and gusts of up to 231 kph.
In 2013, typhoon Yolanda (international name ''Haiyan'') devastated the Visayas region and left 7,300 dead or missing.
At landfall, Yolanda was packing one-minute sustained winds of 310 kph and gusts of up to 380 kph. This made Yolanda the strongest typhoon to ever make landfall in recorded history.
Meanwhile, PAGASA said an estimated rainfall amount of 7.5 – 25 millimeters per hour (heavy – intense) is expected within the typhoon's 700-km diameter.
PAGASA said Ompong was enhancing the northeasterly winds, resulting in rough to very rough sea conditions over the seaboards of northern Luzon and the eastern seaboard of Central and Southern Luzon.