MANILA (UPDATE) - State weather bureau PAGASA has raised Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal Number 1 over Catanduanes after Typhoon Ompong (international name Mangkhut) entered the Philippine area of responsibility Wednesday afternoon.
In its 5 p.m. advisory, PAGASA said the powerful typhoon was last spotted 1,145 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour, nearing the strength of a supertyphoon (220 kph), and gustiness of up to 255 kph.
Ompong is moving west at 20 kph and is forecast to make landfall over Cagayan on Saturday.
Catanduanes may experience occasional rains and gusty winds within the next 36 hours, PAGASA said.
PAGASA weather forecaster Meno Mendoza said the weather bureau may raise signal number 1 over Isabela, Cagayan, Aurora, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur on Thursday.
Moderate with at times heavy rains and thunderstorms may be experienced over Palawan, Bicol region, Visayas and Mindanao due to the trough of Typhoon Ompong and the southwest monsoon.
Metro Manila and the rest of the country will, meanwhile, experience isolated rainshowers brought by localized thunderstorms.
Ompong is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon (habagat) and may bring rains that will match or even exceed the level of Tropical Storm Ondoy, PAGASA earlier said.
Ondoy had caused unprecedented flooding in Metro Manila and other parts of Luzon in 2009.
Schools in some affected areas have already suspended Thursday classes.