About 3 million people in Cagayan and Isabela will be affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Friday, less than 24 hours before the strongest storm to hit the country this year makes landfall in Northern Luzon.
Some 1.57 million people in Isabela and another 1.2 million in Cagayan are projected to be affected by Ompong, a "slightly slow" storm that has a 1,010-kilometer diameter, disaster officials said.
Classes in all levels have been suspended in Cagayan and Isabela.
As of 11 a.m., Ompong continued to barrel towards Cagayan at 20 kph with maximum sustained winds of 205 kph and gustiness of up to 255 kph, state weather bureau PAGASA said.
The storm is expected to make landfall in Sta. Ana, Cagayan Saturday morning, and exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday morning, weather forecasters said.
Government has initiated urgent preparations in areas on the path of the storm, evacuating thousands, readying relief supplies, and prompting farmers to harvest their crops ahead of Ompong's onslaught.