Super Typhoon Lawin: Signal no. 5 in Cagayan, Isabela

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MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Lawin (Haima) intensified into a super typhoon early Wednesday afternoon, October 19, posing a serious threat to the provinces of Cagayan and Isabela.

The two provinces are now under signal number 5 – the highest tropical cyclone warning signal.

In its bulletin issued 2 pm on Wednesday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Lawin now has maximum winds of up to 225 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 315 km/h.

Given its massive strength, Lawin is threatening to bring destructive floods and landslides. Moderate to heavy rain is expected within its 800-km diameter.

So far, Lawin is now 300 kilometers east of Casiguran, Aurora, moving west northwest at a slightly slower 24 km/h from the previous 26 km/h.

Below is the complete list of areas under warning signals.

Signal number 5:

Signal number 4:

Signal number 3:

Signal number 2:

Signal number 1:

PAGASA earlier said powerful winds experienced in areas under signal number 4 or 5 "can destroy high- to low-risk structures" as well as topple trees and transmission towers.

Storm surges up to 5 meters high are also possible.

Sea travel is risky in the eastern seaboard of Southern Luzon and the northern and eastern seaboards of Samar.

Lawin is expected to make landfall in the Cagayan-Isabela area between 11 pm on Wednesday and 2 am on Thursday, October 20. PAGASA warned it will be "destructive."

After making landfall, Lawin will cross Ilocos Norte and Apayao.

It is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) either on Thursday night or early Friday, October 21.

Forecast track of Super Typhoon Lawin as of October 19, 2 pm. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Forecast track of Super Typhoon Lawin as of October 19, 2 pm.

Image courtesy of PAGASA

– Rappler.com