Tropical cyclone wind signals will likely be raised over parts of northern Luzon by Thursday, Sept. 9, in anticipation of strong to near-gale conditions associated with the approaching typhoon “Kiko” (international name “Chanthu”), the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Wednesday evening, Sept. 8.
“Current track and intensity forecast shows that there is a moderate to high likelihood that tropical cyclone wind signals will be hoisted for several provinces in Northern Luzon, with higher wind signal levels possible over extreme Northern Luzon. These wind signals will be hoisted tomorrow early morning (Sept. 9). The highest possible wind signal that may be hoisted for this tropical cyclone is Signal No. 4,” PAGASA said in its 11 p.m. bulletin.
Kiko has maintained its maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 215 kph while moving west at 20 kph on Wednesday.
PAGASA said the typhoon may further intensify in the next 12 hours until it reaches its peak intensity between 185 kph and 205 kph by Friday evening while crossing the Babuyan archipelago.
Likewise, in the next 12 hours, Kiko may move generally westward before turning west-northwestward until Friday morning and northwestward for the remainder of Friday through Saturday, Sept. 11, PAGASA said.
“Between Friday afternoon and Saturday early morning, the typhoon will pass very close to the northeastern portion of Cagayan province and cross the vicinity of Babuyan Islands. Given the recent southward shift in the track forecasts of Kiko from the previous bulletins, the possibility of landfall over mainland Cagayan is not ruled out. As such, the public is advised to continue monitoring for possible changes in the track forecast in the succeeding bulletins,” it added.
As of Wednesday, the center of the eye of typhoon Kiko was over the Philippine Sea or about 985 kilometers (km) east of Central Luzon.
“Heavy rains associated with the typhoon may begin affecting Northern Luzon on Friday (Sept. 10),” PAGASA said.
It advised the public and disaster managers in northern Luzon to “continue monitoring PAGASA’s updates and take appropriate preparatory activities.”
After traversing the Babuyan Islands and Luzon Strait, PAGASA said Kiko will likely exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Saturday afternoon or evening.