MANILA - A prayer for deliverance from calamities will be recited in Catholic churches across the Philippines starting Thursday as the country braces for Typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut), a powerful storm expected to hit northern Luzon.
Fr. Jerome Secillano of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) Public Affairs Committee said the prayer will be recited until the threat of calamity has passed.
"It will be recited starting today till there’s a threat of calamity. It’s usually prayed before the final blessing during the mass,” Secillano said in a text message.
Ompong is the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, expected to peak at gusts of up to 270 kilometers per hour on Thursday before easing to still dangerous velocities as it approaches land, state weather bureau PAGASA said.
Preparations for the typhoon have begun in different parts of the country as early as Wednesday with those residing in risk areas fleeing to makeshift centers.
The storm is expected to make landfall in northern Cagayan on Saturday morning and bring heavy rains within its 900-km diameter.
It will likely exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday.
- report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News