TYPHOON MANGKHUT, which will be locally named Ompong once it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), has intensified as it moves westward towards the northern part of the country. In its Sept. 11 update, weather bureau PAGASA said Ompong is expected to be within PAR by Wednesday afternoon and remain until Saturday. “The typhoon is threatening Northern Luzon and may traverse the Cagayan-Batanes area this Saturday. Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) # 1 may be raised as early as tomorrow evening (12 Sept.). The typhoon may strengthen the Southwest Monsoon bringing scattered light to moderate rains and thunderstorms over the Zamboanga Peninsula, Western Visayas and Palawan starting Thursday,” PAGASA said. National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council Spokesperson Edgar L. Posadas, in a press conference yesterday, said preparations by government agencies are underway for the potential impact of the typhoon.