MANILA, Philippines – The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) of the US Department of Defense has classified Tropical Cyclone “Odette” as a super typhoon.
The latest typhoon warning of the JTWC said “Odette” (international name: Usagi) has reached super typhoon status and is now equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane, according to a report of the Washington Post.
The report also said Odette is the “strongest storm on Earth in 2013” and is on a track towards Hong Kong.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Hurricane Web Page also reported the reclassification of Odette into a super typhoon.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has not yet labeled Odette as a super typhoon in its latest weather bulletin.
PAGASA weather division chief Robert Sawi had explained to STAR that their agency is not officially using the term “super typhoon.”
As of 6 a.m., the eye of Typhoon Odette was located at 390 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan.
Forecast to move northwest at 15 kilometers per hour, Odette is packed with maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 230 kilometers per hour.
Odette is expected to be at 50 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes by Saturday morning and outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Sunday morning.
Storm signals up in 12 areas
Public storm warning signal no. 3 has been hoisted over the Batanes Group of Islands where winds of 101 to 185 kilometers per hour is expected in at least 18 hours.
Areas under public storm warning signal no. 2 include Apayao, Cagayan, and the Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands.
Public storm warning signal no. 1 has been raised over Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Abra, Kalinga and Isabela.
Heavy to intense rainfall (10 to 20 millimeters per hour) is expected within the 800-kilometer diameter of typhoon.
PAGASA warned residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under the storm signals against possible flashfloods and landslides.
Those living in coastal areas under storm signals nos. 3 and 2 are also alerted against storm surges.
Odette enhances Habagat; occasionally heavy rains in Metro Manila
PAGASA said Odette will continue to enhance the Southwest Monsoon that will bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms over Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon and Western Visayas.
“Residents in these areas are advised to be alert against flashfloods and landslides,” the agency said.
Sea travel is also risky over the western and eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon and over the eastern seaboard of Central Luzon and Visayas.
Residents in these areas are also alerted by PAGASA against flashfloods and landslides.
In its 24-hour weather forecast, PAGASA said the Batanes group of islands, Cagayan including Calayan and Babuyan group of islands and Apayao will experience stormy weather.
Isabela, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Mt.Province, Ifugao, Abra and Kalinga will have rains with gusty winds with moderate to rough seas.