MANILA - Areas under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 4 must brace for the impact of the oncoming typhoon as its winds are powerful enough to lift vehicles off the ground and make it difficult for people to stand or walk.
State weather bureau PAGASA had this description of the expected impact of Typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut), which is forecast to make landfall at dawn Saturday in northern Luzon.
On Friday afternoon, PAGASA placed Cagayan and northern Isabela under the second highest tropical cyclone warning signal.
"Signal number 4 po puwedeng i-angat 'yung sasakyan. So talagang hirap, kahit tao hindi na makatayo nun, gapang ang gawin niya. Kahit gapang nga, 'pag pasalubong, baka tumimbuwang pa yun. So ganoon kalakas ang number 4," said Rene Paciente, PAGASA Assistant Weather Services Chief.
(Signal number 4 can lift vehicles. It will be very difficult, even people may not be able to stand, they have to crawl. Even crawling may be difficult if it's against the direction of the wind. It may cause one to flip over. That's how strong signal number 4 is.)
He said winds of a storm of such magnitude may also uproot trees and damage houses.
"Halos lahat na area, 'yung mga puno na daanan ng ganung kalakas na hangin, posibleng maraming ma-uproot na puno," Paciente said.
(In almost all areas, trees that are in the typhoon path may be uprooted by winds that strong.)
"'Yung mga bahay, kahit matibay 'yung bahay mo, sementado, pero 'yung bubong mo, puwedeng tanggalan ng bubong 'yun, lalo na 'yung mga bahay na gawa sa mahinang materyales," he added.
(Houses, even if they are sturdy and made of concrete, the roof, the wind can peel off the roof, especially houses made of light materials.)
PAGASA placed Cagayan and northern Isabela under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 4 as winds of 171 to 220 kilometers per hour (kph) were expected to be felt within the next 12 hours.
Ompong, the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, slightly gained speed and is now moving northwest at 30 kph from 25 kph Friday afternoon, PAGASA said.
As of 4 p.m., Ompong was last spotted 340 kms east northeast of Casiguran, Aurora, still packing maximum sustained winds of 205 kph with 255 kph gusts.
Ompong is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday morning.
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