Typhoon Rosita heads for Northern Luzon

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MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Rosita (Yutu) is on track to hit Northern Luzon, as it maintained its direction, speed, and strength late Sunday morning, October 28.

In a bulletin issued 11 am on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Rosita is already 875 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan. It is still moving west at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The typhoon continues to have maximum winds of 200 km/h and gustiness of up to 245 km/h. It has a huge diameter of 800 kilometers.

PAGASA said tropical cyclone warning signals may be raised in parts of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon as early as Sunday evening.

Moderate to heavy rain and strong to very strong winds may begin hitting Northern Luzon and Central Luzon starting Monday evening, October 29. Also on Monday evening, Signal No. 1 could be raised in Metro Manila. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Monday, October 29)

On Tuesday morning, October 30, Rosita could make landfall in the area of Isabela and Cagayan. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

PAGASA warned that flash floods and landslides are possible in areas in the typhoon's path. There might also be storm surges in coastal areas of Isabela and Cagayan.

"Everyone is advised to refrain from outdoor activities," said PAGASA in its bulletin.

Sea travel is also risky in the seaboards of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon, as well as in the eastern seaboards of the Visayas and Mindanao.

A gale warning was issued at 5 am on Sunday for Batanes, the Babuyan Group of Islands, Calayan, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Isabela, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Aurora, Zambales, Bataan, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, the eastern coast of Albay, the eastern coast of Sorsogon, the eastern coast of Quezon including Polillo Island, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Surigao, Siargao, and Dinagat Islands.

Seas off those areas are rough to very rough, with wave heights reaching 2.6 meters to 4.5 meters.

PAGASA advised fishermen and others with small vessels not to set sail in areas covered by the gale warning. Larger vessels should watch out for big waves.

Based on Rosita's latest forecast track, it would leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility either on Wednesday, October 31, or Thursday, November 1.

Forecast track of Typhoon Rosita (Yutu) as of October 28, 2018, 11 am. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Typhoon Rosita (Yutu) as of October 28, 2018, 11 am.

Image from PAGASA

Rosita's track is similar to that of Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut), which made landfall in Cagayan last September 15. Ompong triggered deadly landslides, particularly in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

Rosita is the Philippines' 18th tropical cyclone for 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)

Aside from the typhoon, the northeast monsoon will also trigger light rain in CAR, Cagayan Valley, the Ilocos Region, and Central Luzon on Sunday. But PAGASA said there will be "no significant impact."

The rest of the country will also have localized thunderstorms on Sunday, mostly in the afternoon or evening. Flash floods and landslides are possible if the thunderstorms bring heavy rain.

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 8. – Rappler.com