Signal No. 4 hoisted over Babuyan Island as typhoon 'Kiko' further intensifies; may become a super typhoon -- PAGASA


Tropical cyclone wind signal number 4 has been raised over the northern portion of Babuyan Islands as typhoon "Kiko" (international name "Chanthu") poses danger to the extreme area of northern Luzon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Friday afternoon, Sept. 10.

Signal No. 3 was also hoisted over the extreme northeastern portion of Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga), the rest of Babuyan Islands, and Batanes.

Signal No. 2 was up in the northern, central, and eastern portions of mainland Cagayan, northeastern portion of Isabela, and the northeastern portion of Apayao, while Signal No. 1 was in effect in the rest of mainland Cagayan, eastern portion of Ilocos Norte, the rest of Apayao, northern portion of Kalinga, eastern portion of Mountain Province, northeastern portion of Abra, northwestern and southeastern portions of Isabela, and northern portion of Aurora.

Kiko has maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 265 kph while moving northwest at 15 kph.

"Further intensification into super typhoon is not ruled out. Thus, TCWS #5 may be the highest wind signal that will be hoisted for this typhoon," PAGASA pointed out.

Flood, landslide warnings up

PAGASA said heavy to intense with at times torrential rains may prevail over the northeastern portion of Cagayan including Babuyan Islands and Batanes, while heavy to intense rains may affect northern Isabela and the rest of Cagayan.

Moderate to heavy with at times intense rains may be also 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.

Likewise, typhoon-force winds may occur in areas under Signal No. 4 and 3, and gale-force to storm-force winds may occur in areas under Signal No. 2.

"A moderate risk of storm surge reaching 1.0 to 2.0 m in height may occur in the next 24 hours. Rising seawater along with the high waves from the shoreline moving inland may cause flooding in the low-lying coastal localities of Batanes, Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, and Isabela," PAGASA warned.

Kiko's intensity and track forecast

As of 4 p.m., the center of the eye of typhoon Kiko was located 190 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan.

PAGASA said 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.