The weather bureau said Monday the reports that potential super typhoon “Mangkhut” will be packing 240 kilometers-per-hour winds by Thursday and gusts of up to 306 kph by the weekend was a hoax.
“It’s a hoax. We don’t know yet how strong the typhoon will be,” weather forecaster Ezra Bulquerin told ABS-CBN News.
In other developments:
• The Palace on Monday asked the public to brace as a potentially powerful typhoon enters the Philippine area of responsibility.
“I encourage the people to be prepared. Ready your emergency kits in your houses, prepare buckets of water and canned goods,” Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said.
• A low-pressure area has developed into a tropical depression named “Neneng” on Monday morning and was estimated 120 kilometers north of Basco, Batanes.
Neneng, the 14th tropical cyclone to visit the country, is expected to enter PAR but to exit today, Tuesday.
• Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto said Monday the government should brace for “Neneng” instead of being focused on political storms.
“It should be able to distinguish between a tempest in a teacup involving a few and a Category 5 storm which may put millions in harm’s way,” he said.
Bulquerin said “Mangkhut,” which will be named “Ompong” once inside the Philippine area of responsibility, could still strengthen while in the
water but would need to have maximum sustained winds of over 220 kph to be classified as a super typhoon.
“We are expecting on Thursday cloudy skies and scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over the whole of Luzon,” he told ANC.
“The western sections of the Visayas and Mindanao will also have the effect of the enhanced southwest monsoon, which could bring to moderate to occasionally heavy rain.”
ABS-CBN News said “Mangkhut” will come in packing sustained winds of 215 kph but could develop into a super typhoon within the next 12 to 24 hours.
Pagasa categorizes a weather system with maximum sustained winds of 220 kph as a super typhoon, but Ompong can carry winds of up to 250 kph before it leaves the Philippines as it approaches extreme northern Luzon, said ABS-CBN resident weather specialist Nilo Millanes.
Typhoon “Maymay” (international name: “Jebi”) also packed winds of 250 kph, he said.
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