Typhoon "Odette" intensifies to "supertyphoon" level

(UPDATED 5:30 p.m.) Weather disturbance “Odette” has reached supertyphoon level as it gained strength and continues to threaten the northern part of the country.

In its 5:00 p.m. bulletin, weather bureau PAGASA spotted Typhoon “Odette” at 220 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes packing maximum sustained winds of 205 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 240 kilometers per hour.

It is forecast to move northwest at 19 kilometers per hour.

Public storm warning signal number 4 is now up over Batanes group of islands.

Storm signal number 3 has been raised over the Calayan and Babuyan group of islands.

Signal number 2 is now up over Cagayan, Apayao and Ilocos Norte.

Abra, Kalinga, Isabela, Northern Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Mt. Province, and Ifugao are now under storm signal number 1.

PAGASA said estimated rainfall amount is from 10 to 20 millimeters per hour, considered heavy to intense, within 900 kilometers diameter of the typhoon.

Residents in low lying and mountainous areas under all storm signal warnings are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides. Coastal areas are also alerted for storm surges.

“Odette” will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon bringing moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms over Metro Manila, the rest of Luzon and Western Visayas.

Sea travel is also risky over the western seaboard of Southern Luzon and the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon, Southern Luzon and the Visayas region.

"Odette" is expected to be outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility at 290 km Northwest of Basco, Batanes by tomorrow evening.

Local disaster officials in the Cordillera region are on red alert, as flashfloods and landslides continue to be a threat.

ABS-CBN's Ada Sibayan said 2 families were evacuated in Baguio City after floods reached chest-level on Thursday night. Among those evacuated were a 7 month old baby and 2 children. Power supply was also interrupted in the area.

Meanwhile, ABS-CBN's Aldrin Soriano reported 7 foreign ships on their way to Japan and South Korea were forced to take shelter at Lingayen Gulf due to rough seas caused by "Odette."

The Philippine Coast Guard would continue to watch over the ships and check for any damage that could cause oil spills, Soriano said.

In Ilocos Norte, ABS-CBN's Dennis Agcaoili reported some fishermen have decided not to set sail while residents in low-lying areas have been advised to prepare for evacuation.

Despite the potential significant loss in their income, fishermen in the Ilocos region did not brave the storm, citing past experiences of fellow fishermen who got lost at sea during bad weather.

READ MORE Signal no. 3 up in Batanes due to 'Odette'

Watch out for updates on Typhoon "Odette" here.