MANILA - Residents of Batanes are bracing for heavy rains and strong winds as Typhoon Mangkhut moves closer to the Philippine area of responsibility on Wednesday morning.
In the towns of Ugayan and Basco, residents have started securing their houses by tying their cogon roofs to its rock-solid foundations, as shown in photos contributed by Herson Raquinio.
In its latest advisory, PAGASA said Mangkhut, which has intensified as it entered PAR, was still on track to threaten Northern Luzon and may traverse the Cagayan-Batanes area.
Mangkhut is expected to enter PAR Wednesday afternoon as Ompong. PAGASA said it may place areas in the path of the typhoon under cyclone warning signals.
Senior weather forecaster Chris Perez warned of 6-meter high storm surges caused by the typhoon in the coasts of northern Luzon, particularly in Cagayan, by Friday and Saturday.
The typhoon may reach a peak of 220 kph maximum sustained winds and gusts of up to 270 kph before it leaves PAR, he said.
PAGASA classifies a tropical cyclone with top sustained winds of over 220 kph as a super typhoon.
Disaster officials earlier said they have already pre-positioned food and non-food items to the provinces in the path of Ompong. A P1.7-billion augmentation fund for relief aid was also on standby.
--with a report from Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News