Signal No. 5 raised in 4 northern provinces

SUPER TYPHOON ‘Lawin’ has further intensified packing winds of more than 220kph as Philippine weather authorities raised storm alert to Signal No. 5 in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, Kalinga and Apayao.

Residents in the said provinces had been advised to move to safer ground before Super Typhoon ‘Lawin’ (international code name ‘Haima’) make landfall Wednesday night or early Thursday.

Typhoon ‘Lawin’ is a Category 5 storm that is packing maximum winds of 259.3 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 170 knots, according to the U.S. Navy and Air Force’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC).

Authorities are forcing people in the said four provinces to evacuate to safer ground.

Several local flights have already been cancelled while school classes were already suspended in the provinces. Hundreds of passengers have been stranded in various ports in the country.

The Provincial Government of Pampanga said it is ready for the possible onslaught of Super Typhoon ‘Lawin,’ the second typhoon to enter Luzon Island in a week.

Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) head Angie Blanco said they will monitor the towns and cities in Pampanga province while rescuers are on standby.

Signal No. 4 is up in Ilocos Norte, Abra, Ilocos Sur, Mountain Province, Ifugao, and the Calayan Group of Islands. Signal No. 3 is up in La Union, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Northern Aurora.

Signal No. 2 was raised in the Batanes Group of Islands, Pangasinan, rest of Aurora, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, northern Zambales, northern Quezon including Polilio Islands. Signal No. 1 was raised in the rest of Zambales, Bulacan, Bataan, Pampanga, Rizal, rest of Quezon, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay and Metro Manila.