MANILA (UPDATE)— Typhoon Kiko on Saturday morning made landfall in Ivana, Batanes, as the storm is expected to maintain its strength while crossing the northern province.
Kiko hit land over the municipality of Ivana around 8:30 a.m., PAGASA said.
The state weather bureau's 8 a.m. bulletin said "Kiko" was last located over the coastal waters of Sabtang, Batanes, and is moving at the speed of 15 kilometers per hour (kph) north northwestward.
The country's 11th storm is packing maximum sustained winds of 215 kph near the center with gustiness of up to 265 kph, PAGASA added.
Kiko is also forecast to weaken later Saturday or on Sunday as it "undergoes another eyewall replacement cycle."
"Further weakening will continue throughout the forecast period as the typhoon interacts with the rugged terrain of Taiwan," the advisory read.
Earlier in its 5 a.m. bulletin, PAGASA said that while the weather disturbance is not expected to strengthen into a super typhoon "in the very near term," the possibility is not yet ruled out.
Batanes and the northeastern portion of Babuyan Islands remained under tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) no. 4 where "very destructive" winds are expected to prevail within 12 hours.
TCWS no. 3, where destructive typhoon-force winds may prevail within 18 hours, was hoisted in the northwestern portion of Babuyan Islands (Panuitan Is. and Calayan Is.)
Meanwhile, PAGASA raised tropical cyclone wind signal no. 2 over the rest of Babuyan Islands due to likely damaging gale-force to storm-force winds prevailing or expected within 24 hours.
The following areas were under tropical cyclone wind signal 1, which will bring strong winds within 36 hours:
- Mainland Cagayan
- The northern portion of Ilocos Norte (Adams, Dumalneg, Bangui, Vintar, Carasi, Nueva Era, Piddig, Solsona, Burgos, Pasuquin, Bacarra, Laoag City, San Nicolas, Sarrat, Dingras, Pagudpud)
In the weather bureau's latest bulletin, Kiko is expected to bring heavy to intense rains over Batanes and Babuyan Islands in the next 24 hours, while Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Apayao, and Kalinga are forecast to experience moderate to intense rains.
"Under these conditions, scattered to widespread flooding (including flash floods) and rain-induced landslides are possible especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards as identified in hazard maps," PAGASA said.
In the next 24 hours, Kiko will "continue to enhance" the southwest monsoon or the habagat, which is likely to cause rains over Metro Manila, the rest of Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and the western sections of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon.
KIKO FORCES NEARLY A HUNDRED FAMILIES TO FLEE HOMES IN ISABELA
As of 6 a.m., the town of Babuyan Claro in Calayan, Cagayan was reported to still be experiencing torrential rains brought by Kiko.
PAGASA Tuguegarao earlier said the island had close proximity with the typhoon between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m. Heavy rains are still expected in the area.
Most areas in Calayan and Santa Ana in Cagayan were placed under orange rainfall alert, where moderate rains are expected within an hour or two, while Babuyan Claro, Fuga Islands, and Camiguin Island were placed under yellow rainfall alert, where heavy rains are expected in an hour and the succeeding hours.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) in Cagayan said 58 passengers are currently stranded in the town of Claveria, while several residents were also forced to evacuate the towns of Lal-lo, Baggao, Santa Ana, and Alcala due to the threat of floods and storm surge.
Meanwhile, 93 families consisting of 247 individuals in Maconacon were forced to flee their homes while 7 families (total of) 32 individuals) were also evacuated in Divilacan due to the impending storm surge, authorities said.
Rescue teams are on standby in flood-prone areas to evacuate residents.
Kiko is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Sunday evening or Monday morning, according to PAGASA.