Philippines: Typhoon Mangkhut Information Bulletin n° 1

The situation

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Typhoon Mangkhut is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) around 14H00, 12 September 2018. It will be given the local name “Ompong”.

Mangkhut is currently around 1,200km east of southern Luzon (13.8 N 136.3 E), moving west at 20kph, and with maximum sustained winds of 250kph near the centre and gustiness of up to 310kph according to Joint Typhoon Warning Center update as of 11H00, 12 September. It has been classified as a Category 5 cyclone Information bulletin Philippines: Typhoon Mangkhut (Saffir-Simpson), while it can be considered a super typhoon in PAGASA’s TWCS. The typhoon is expected to maintain its strength before landfall.
According to forecasts, the typhoon will make landfall over Sta. Ana municipality in Cagayan province between the evening of 14 September and early morning of 15 September, with Category 4 winds, before making a second landfall over the Babuyan group of islands, around 25km north of Luzon landmass. The typhoon will move across the Babuyan channel, on the northern coast of Luzon, sustaining its Category 4 winds for 24 hours. Mangkhut exits PAR by 08H00, 16 September 2018.
Although the eye of the storm is not likely to traverse through Luzon landmass, the strength and the size of the typhoon (700-900km wide) is expected to cause substantial damage in communities in the provinces of Apayao, Batanes, Ilocos Norte and Cagayan, and in the Babuyan Group of Islands. Around 2 million people (almost 450,000 households) live in these areas. Storm surges of 6 to 7 metres are also expected along the northern coast and across the islands, with the typhoon expected to make landfall on a high tide (more than 1 metre). Other provinces such as Isabela, Kalinga, Abra, Mountain Province and Ilocos Sur are also expected to sustain direct wind damage from the typhoon. Heavy torrential rain is also expected over these areas, which may also trigger landslides in mountain communities and flash floods particularly near rivers and major tributaries. Details on number of houses at risk are as tabulated below:
The typhoon may also strengthen the southwest monsoon affecting the country, bringing scattered light to moderate rain and thunderstorms over the Zamboanga Peninsula (Mindanao), Western Visayas and Palawan.
It is also expected to bring rain over western Luzon, an area that has recently experienced flooding due to storm-enhanced monsoon rains from July to August.
A Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA) meeting was convened by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on 10 September, which was attended by government agencies, cluster lead agencies, and other partners including the Philippine Red Cross. The NDRRMC has been put on Red Alert as of 08H00, 11 September. PAGASA and NDRRMC are continuously providing updates including on preparedness measures, stocks and other resources; weather forecasts/advisories and gale warnings to regional counterparts and other agencies through SMS and social media postings for further dissemination to local councils.