Storm Mangkhut classified as super-typhoon as it nears the Philippines

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Mangkhut
Satellite image of Typhoon Mangkhut outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility at 5 pm today.

The Hawaii-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) has reclassified Mangkhut as a super-typhoon as it bears down on the Philippines.

Mangkhut will be referred to as “Ompong” after it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) tomorrow (Wednesday, September 12).

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An advisory from the JTWC today said Mangkhut was packing winds of up to 155mph near the centre and gustiness of up to 190mph.

However, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) has continued to categorise Mangkhut as a “typhoon” as of this afternoon.

It said that Mangkhut packed maximum sustained winds of up to 115mph near the centre and gustiness of up to 137mph.

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The disparity between the figures is because Pagasa measures the average wind strength of the weather disturbance every 10 minutes while the JTWC measures its average winds per minute.

Pagasa said Mangkhut was last spotted about 1,000 miles east of Southern Luzon, moving westward at nearly 19mph.

Weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said Mangkhut would enter the PAR tomorrow afternoon and storm signals may be raised by the evening. “The typhoon is threatening Northern Luzon and may traverse the Cagayan-Batanes Area this Saturday,” he added.

The typhoon is expected to affect Northern and Central Luzon over the coming days.

A statement issued by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) today said that Commandant Admiral Elson Hermogino had “directed all PCG district commanders in areas expected to be hit…to ensure the readiness of all assets and personnel.”

He also instructed PCG units “to remind and prevent all types of inter-island vessels from sailing” in areas where tropical cyclone warning signals would be raised.

“The riding public is advised to check with their shipping companies for the possible cancellation of their trips, especially those traveling to Northern Luzon, Southern Tagalog, and nearby provinces,” the statement added.

Meanwhile, tropical storm Neneng continues to bring rainy weather over some Northern Luzon provinces. However, as it has now moved out of the PAR, it is known by its international name of “Banjat”.

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