Typhoon 'Ompong' slows down, heavy rains in Northern Luzon expected on Friday

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 13) — Typhoon "Ompong" has lost some speed but continues to threaten Northern Luzon as it is expected to make landfall this weekend.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ompong will bring strong winds, storm surges in seas, and heavy to intense rains to Cagayan Valley Region and the Cordillera Region on Friday. The rest of Northern Luzon will experience the same conditions the next day.

Ompong will make landfall in Cagayan Saturday morning. It is currently moving west with a speed of 20 kilometers per hour (kph) much slower than its previous speed of 30 kph at 4 a.m.

PAGASA has placed 24 provinces under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal number 1 Thursday, which means these areas may experience occasional rains and gusty winds.

Winds may unroof houses made of light material (nipa or cogon) and rice crops may suffer from damages in areas under this signal. However, the warning also means only "very light or no damage at all" may be felt in the exposed communities.

Here is the list of provinces under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal number 1:



  • Batanes
  • Cagayan including Babuyan Group of Islands
  • Apayao
  • Abra
  • Kalinga
  • Ifugao
  • Isabela
  • Benguet
  • Quirino
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Aurora
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Bulacan
  • Rizal
  • Laguna
  • Quezon including Polio Island
  • Camarines Norte
  • Camarines Sur
  • Catanduanes
  • Albay
  • Sorsogon
  • Burias
  • Ticao Island



  • Northern Samar

Less chances to become a super typhoon


PAGASA added that Ompong may no longer reach the level of a super typhoon since its strength has not increased since it entered Philippine territory on Wednesday. 

"Sa ngayon parang lumiit na 'yung chance niya kasi mula kahapon 205 pa rin siya so baka ito na 'yung peak niya so 'pag ganoong mangyari hindi na niya mareach 'yung super typhoon," Assistant weather Services Chief Rene Paciente said. 

[Translation: For now it seems that the chance (of Ompong becoming a super typhoon) has become smaller because since yesterday it was at 205 kph so this is probably its peak. If that's the case, then it won't reach super typhoon level anymore.]

PAGASA Administrator Vicente Malano said Ompong's winds may weaken after it makes landfall but it will retain its intensity as a typhoon. 

"'Pag tumama siya ng kabundukan hihina siya pero sa lakas nitong hangin ito kung bababa man siya, typhoon intensity pa rin siya so malakas pa rin. Maaari pa rin hanggang paglabas niya typhoon intensity pa rin siya," Vicente said.  

[Translation: Once it (Ompong) makes landfall it will become weaker but with its wind strength, if it becomes weaker it will still be a typhoon so it's still strong. Its possible that it will remain a typhoon until it leaves.] Nonetheless, he warned that the typhoon may still be destructive.

Malano said Ompong's track is similar to typhoon Lawin's in 2016, which affected over 10,000 families and killed 14 people.

However, Ompong is expected to affect more areas while Lawin's winds were stronger. Lawin brought center winds of 225 kph and gustiness of 315 kph.

"'Yung landfall and track halos pareho may pero may kalakihan ng diameter ito sa Ompong and 'yung hangin mas malakas kay Lawin noon naglandfall," Malano said.

[Translation: The landfall and track is similar but Ompong is larger and Lawin's winds were stronger when it made landfall.]

This negates disaster response officials' and weather officials' initial prediction saying Ompong will be as strong as super typhoon Yolanda in 2013. 

READ: Officials warn of 'Yolanda-type' disasters as 'Mangkhut' nears PH

READ: PAGASA: Typhoon 'Ompong' now in PH

Meanwhile, light to moderate and occasionally heavy rains due to an enhanced southwest monsoon will pour over Palawan, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Visayas on Friday. Metro Manila will experience the same conditions on Saturday.