Northern Luzon should brace for damaging winds, intense rains, storm surges -- PAGASA chief


The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) chief Vicente Malano advised those in northern Luzon to prepare for the hazards associated with typhoon "Kiko" (international name "Chanthu").

As the center of typhoon Kiko will likely be closest to the northeastern tip of Cagayan province between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., Friday, Malano said that the public should be extra vigilant.

"Aabot sa Signal No. 4 . Maghanda tayo sa storm surge sa northern coastal areas ng Cagayan and eastern coastal areas dahil sa lakas ng hangin ni Kiko. Hindi lang ulan kundi hangin na malalakas na pwede magpatumba ng poste (Kiko's strength will reach Signal No. 4. Let's prepare for the storm surge in the northern coastal areas of Cagayan as well as the eastern coastal areas due to the strength of Kiko's winds. Not just rains, but strong winds can also knock down utility poles)," Malano said in a virtual press briefing on Friday, Sept. 10.

"Ito ang babantayan natin dahil gabi at malalakas ang hangin. Pati ang ulan ni Kiko ay malalakas din (This is what we will have to watch closely because it will hit at night, and is accompanied by strong winds. Even Kiko's rains are intense)," he added.

As of 1 p.m., the center of the eye of typhoon Kiko was located 190 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

It has maintained its maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 240 kph while moving northwest at 20 kph.

More areas under Signal No. 3

Tropical cyclone wind signal number 3 has been hoisted over the extreme northeastern portion of Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga), eastern portion of Babuyan Islands (Babuyan Is., Didicas Is., Camiguin Is., Pamuktan Is., Calayan Is., Panulitan Is.), and southern portion of Batanes (Basco, Mahatao, Uyugan, Ivana, Sabtang).

Signal No. 2 was also raised over the rest of Batanes, the rest of Babuyan Islands, the remaining eastern portion of mainland Cagayan (Aparri, Camalaniugan, Lal-Lo, Gattaran, Baggao, Peñablanca, Buguey, Santa Teresita, Tuguegarao City, Iguig, Amulung, Alcala, Allacapan, Lasam, Ballesteros, Abulug), northeastern portion of Isabela (San Pablo, Maconacon, Divilacan, Palanan), and northeastern portion of Apayao (Flora, Santa Marcela, Luna, Pudtol).

Meanwhile, Signal No. 1 was up in the rest of mainland Cagayan, eastern portion of Ilocos Norte (Pagudpud, Adams, Dumalneg, Bangui, Vintar, Carasi, Nueva Era, Burgos, Pasuquin, Bacarra, Laoag City, Piddig, Solsona, Dingras, Sarrat, San Nicolas), the rest of Apayao, northern portion of Kalinga (Balbalan, Pinukpuk, City of Tabuk, Rizal), eastern portion of Mountain Province (Paracelis), northeastern portion of Abra (Tineg, Lacub, Malibcong), northwestern and southeastern portions of Isabela (Santa Maria, Quezon, Mallig, Roxas, San Manuel, Cabatuan, Aurora, City of Cauayan, Angadanan, San Guillermo, Dinapigue, San Mariano, Cabagan, Santo Tomas, Delfin Albano, Tumauini, Quirino, Burgos, Gamu, Ilagan City, Luna, Reina Mercedes, Naguilian, Benito Soliven), and northern portion of Aurora (Dilasag, Casiguran).

"Based on the latest track and intensity forecast, TCWS #4 (tropical cyclone wind signal number 4) remains the highest wind signal that will be hoisted for this typhoon. TCWS #4 may be hoisted over portions of Babuyan Islands this afternoon," PAGASA pointed out.

Until Saturday evening, Sept. 11, PAGASA said that heavy to intense with at times torrential rains may prevail over the northeastern portion of Cagayan including Babuyan Islands and Batanes.

Heavy to intense rains may also affect northern Isabela and the rest of Cagayan during the forecast period.

Moreover, moderate to heavy with at times intense rains may be experienced in Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, northern and central Aurora, and the rest of Cagayan Valley.

PAGASA warned against possible scattered to widespread flooding including flash floods and rain-induced landslides in these areas, especially those that are highly susceptible to these hazards.

In the next 24 hours, typhoon Kiko may also continue to enhance the southwest monsoon or "habagat" and bring rains over the western section of Southern Luzon and Visayas.

Kiko's intensity and track forecast

PAGASA said the typhoon may slightly intensify with up to 205 kph maximum sustained winds in the next 12 hours.

Kiko may move generally northwest towards the Babuyan Islands-Batanes area and may pass over the coastal waters of northeastern Cagayan Friday afternoon or evening.

Afterward, the typhoon may cross the vicinity of Babuyan Islands and Batanes or pass within their coastal waters from Friday evening until Saturday afternoon or evening.

PAGASA is also not ruling out the possibility of landfall over the northeastern portion of Cagayan.

The public is advised to continue monitoring for possible changes in the forecast track in the succeeding bulletins issued by PAGASA.

"After passing in the vicinity of extreme northern Luzon, Kiko is forecast to move northward for the remainder of tomorrow through Sunday afternoon (Sept. 12) and may make landfall in the vicinity of eastern Taiwan or pass within its coastal waters," PAGASA said.

Should it maintain its current speed and direction, Kiko will likely leave the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday afternoon or evening.