MANILA (UPDATE) - Four areas were placed under tropical cyclone warning signal number 3 Sunday morning as Typhoon Nina (international name: Nock-Ten) maintained its strength, the state weather bureau said.
Signal number 3 was raised in Catanduanes, Albay, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur as the typhoon continues to move closer to the Bicol region at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its 8 a.m. bulletin.
Areas under signal number 3 should prepare for heavy damage to high–risk structures; moderate damage to medium-risk structures; light damage to low risk structures; widespread disruption of electrical power and communication services; uprooted trees; and damaged crops, PAGASA said.
Typhoon Nina was packing winds of maximum sustained winds of up to 175 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 215 kph and seen 195 km east of Virac, Catanduanes as of 7 a.m., Sunday.
It is expected to make landfall in Catanduanes on Sunday afternoon or evening.
PAGASA warned of possible storm surges of up to 2.5 meters in coastal areas. Moderate to heavy rains are expected within the typhoon's 500-kilometer diameter, it added.
"Ang sinasabi natin huwag maging kampante ang ating mga kababayan lalo na kapag dumaan ng Bicol, [baka isipin nila] humina na, hindi po. Malakas si Nina, kahit lumabas na siya sa West Philippine Sea, malakas pa din si Nina," PAGASA forecaster Jori Loiz said.
Signal number 2 was raised in Quezon including Polillo Island, Marinduque, Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands, Sorsogon, Oriental Mindoro, Batangas, Laguna, Romblon, and Northern Samar.
Areas under signal number 1 are Metro Manila, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Southern Nueva Vizcaya, Southern Quirino, Zambales, Pampanga, Tarlac, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Aurora, Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island, Aklan, Capiz, Samar, Eastern Samar, Biliran, Leyte, and Bantayan Island
Metro Manila should expect heavy rains on Monday, December 26, PAGASA said.
The typhoon is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility early Wednesday, December 28.