MANILA - State weather bureau PAGASA has raised Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 1 over Metro Manila and 37 other areas as Typhoon Ompong slightly gained speed and changed its course on Thursday afternoon.
In its 5 p.m. advisory, PAGASA said Ompong was last spotted 575 kilometers east northeast of Virac, Catanduanes. It continues to pack maximum sustained winds of 205 kms per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 255 kph.
Ompong is expected to make landfall over the Cagayan-Isabela area on Saturday morning if it continues to move west-northwest at 25 kph, PAGASA said.
Signal No. 1 has been raised over 38 areas in northern, central, and southern Luzon and even northern Visayas as the powerful typhoon, which has a 900-km diameter, may also enhance the southwest monsoon.
The following areas are under Signal No. 1:
• Cagayan including Babuyan group of Islands
• Mountain Province
• La Union
• Ilocos Norte
• Ilocos Sur
• Nueva Vizcaya
• Nueva Ecija
• Metro Manila
• Quezon including Polillo Island
• Northern Occidental Mindoro
• Northern Oriental Mindoro
• Camarines Norte
• Camarines Sur
• Burias and Ticao island.
• Northern Samar
PAGASA weather forecaster Gener Quitlong said areas under the typhoon warning signal have a lead time of 36 hours to prepare.
"Ibig lang sabihin nun paparating po ang bagyo, nasa radius po kayo, maghanda po kayo (It just means the storm is coming, you're within the radius, you must prepare)" Quitlong told radio DZMM.
Palawan, the Zamboanga Peninsula and the Visayas will, meanwhile, experience moderate to occasionally heavy rains brought by the southwest monsoon.
PAGASA earlier warned that storm surges of up to 6 meters are likely to hit the coasts of Cagayan, Isabela and Ilocos Sur as Ompong approaches landmass.
Ompong is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday morning.