Cagayan battens down the hatches ahead of Ompong

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 13 2018 11:55 AM | Updated as of Sep 13 2018 12:40 PM

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MANILA - Preemptive evacuation has begun Thursday in the coastal towns of Cagayan where typhoon Ompong is expected to make landfall this weekend.

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba said the local government has not encountered problems with the evacuation as the residents have learned from the lessons of supertyphoon Lawin that hit them in 2016.

"Ngayon pong araw na 'to busy ang lahat. Nagkakaroon na rin po ng preemptive evacuation dito sa coastal," he told DZMM, adding that they will also impose a liquor ban on Friday and Saturday.

Classes in the province have already been suspended on Thursday, while work will be suspended on Friday to give residents ample time to secure their houses.

PAGASA had said Ompong may become a supertyphoon before it smashes Cagayan. The weather bureau classifies a cyclone as a supertyphoon if its top sustained winds exceed 220 kph.

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In the province's capital Tuguegarao, residents took advantage of the good weather, a calm before the storm, to secure their houses. Some put rocks on their roofs while others cut down tree branches.

Aside from Cagayan, other areas within the typhoon's 900-kilometer radius should also expect "intense to torrential rains" starting Friday.

Residents in the typhoon's path should be on the lookout for possible storm surges, floods and landslides, PAGASA had warned.--with reports from Raya Capulong, ABS-CBN News

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