Over 100,000 seek safe ground as 'Ompong' batters Luzon

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15) — More than 100,000 fled to safe grounds to escape the fury of Typhoon Ompong, disaster management officials said Saturday.

Nearly 27,700 families or more than 105,034 people left their homes before the typhoon slammed the Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley regions. Others were in Central Luzon, CALABARZON and the Cordillera Administrative Region, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said in its 12 p.m. report.

Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba told CNN Philippines around 36,000 of his constituents have left their homes.

"We have a total of 36,000 evacuees after our record, and I am advising them now to stay put in our evacuation," he said.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development said it has more than ?816,500,000 in standby funds and over 360,000 food packs for typhoon victims.

Cagayan taking a hit

Cagayan residents have suffered from nonstop rainfall since Ompong's hit land in Baggao town early Saturday. The province has more than 1.1 million people.

Mamba added they had difficulty getting in touch with Baggao officials due to intermittent mobile signals.

Local government units have also advised residents to stay indoors. Gale-force winds have toppled signages and trees, and blew the roofs of a number of establishments in Cagayan Valley.

Cagayan was under Signal No. 4 Friday evening to Saturday morning. The alert level indicates winds of more than 185 kilometers per hour (kph), strong enough to uproot large trees and could severely damage houses and buildings.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ompong has weakened, but warned of "continuing threats and hazards" ahead of the typhoon's expected exit Saturday night.