MANILA - Typhoon Ompong (international name: Mangkhut) has weakened but will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon as it makes its way out of the country, state weather bureau PAGASA said Saturday afternoon.
The strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, Ompong is now packing maximum sustained winds of 160 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 195 kph. It had reached peak winds of more than 200 kph before landfall early Saturday.
It continues to move west northwest at a speed of 25 kph, PAGASA said in its 5 p.m. weather update.
At 4 p.m., the typhoon's center was spotted at 160 kms west of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte.
The following typhoon warning signals remain hoisted over these areas:
SIGNAL NO. 3
- Ilocos Norte
- Ilocos Sur
- La Union
- Mountain Province
SIGNAL NO. 2
- Cagayan including Babuyan group of islands
- Nueva Vizcaya
- Nueva Ecija
SIGNAL NO. 1
- Metro Manila
- Lubang Island
- Northern Quezon including Polillo Island
Ompong will also continue to enhance the southwest monsoon (habagat), expected to bring gusty winds with occasional moderate to heavy rains over Western Visayas and MIMAROPA.
Scattered light to moderate to at times heavy rains will, meanwhile, prevail over the Bicol region, and Eastern and Central Visayas.
PAGASA issued an orange rainfall warning over Bataan and Bulacan, which may experience intense rain within the next 3 hours.
A yellow rainfall warning was also raised over Zambales, which may experience heavy rainfall within the next 3 hours.
Ompong is expected to be out of the Philippine area of responsibility by Saturday night, PAGASA said.
The typhoon left a trail of devastation in northern Luzon, bringing down communication and power lines, ripping roofs off homes, damaging other structures and destroying crops.