No more Signal No. 4 in PH as 'Ompong' heads for Laoag with weaker winds

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Roads in Tuguegarao in the Cagayan Valley are filled with debris due to the strong winds of Typhoon Ompong.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 15) — Typhoon Ompong further weakened Saturday morning but it will continue to bring strong winds and heavy rains to Luzon, weather officials said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) located the storm 30 kilometers west of Laoag, Ilocos Norte as of 10 a.m. Its new maximum wind speeds have downgraded highest storm warning signals in the country to Signal No. 3.

Since hitting Baggao, Cagayan at 1:40 a.m. Saturday, the maximum sustained winds of Ompong went further down from 185 kilometers per hour (kph) to 170 kph. 

PAGASA earlier explained the typhoon may weaken when it hits land, but once the eye leaves the Luzon landmass, it may strengthen again due to its exposure to bodies of water.

The gusts, although still strong at 260 kph have gone done from 285 kph earlier.

The weather bureau however warns that these winds can still produce storm surges near coastal communities in Ilocos Norte, which can go as high as two floors (6 meters). Two-meter surges, much taller than the average person, may occur in areas near the shores of Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan.

As it moves slower westward at 25 kph, Ompong will enhance the southwest monsoon (Habagat) and bring gusty winds with occasional moderate to heavy rains over Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, MIMAROPA and Bicol Region.

Residents living near river channels and low-lying and mountainous areas are advised to take caution against possible flooding and landslides.

The weather bureau earlier said Ompong is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Saturday evening. It added weather may improve by Monday or Tuesday.

Here is the full list of storm signals raised all over the country:

Signal No. 3

  • Cagayan including Babuyan Group of Islands
  • Batanes
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Ilocos Norte
  • La Union
  • Mountain Province
  • Benguet
  • Ifugao
  • Kalinga
  • Apayao
  • Abra

Signal No. 2

  • Isabela
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Pangasinan
  • Tarlac
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Aurora
  • Zambales
  • Quirino
  • Pampanga
  • Bulacan

Signal No. 1

  • Bataan
  • Rizal
  • Metro Manila
  • Cavite
  • Batangas
  • Laguna
  • Lubang Island
  • Northern Quezon including Polillo Island