(UPDATED as of 5:52 p.m.) "Santi" has intensified further as it closes in on Luzon.
According to weather bureau PAGASA, as of 4:00 p.m. Friday, the eye of Typhoon "Santi" was spotted at 150 kilometers east southeast of Baler, Aurora with winds of up to 130 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 185 kilometers per hour.
"Santi" is forecast to move west at 15 kilometers per hour and is expected to make landfall over the northern Aurora-Isabela area early Saturday morning between 12 midnight to 3 a.m. The system is expected to then cross the provinces of Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Ifugao, Benguet, Pangasinan and possibly exit La Union Sunday evening.
Public Storm Warning Signal no. 3. has been raised over Aurora, Isabela, Quirino, Ifugao, Nueva Viscaya, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Pangasinan, Mt. Province, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Northern Quezon, Polilio Island, and northern Zambales.
Signal number 2 was also raised in Metro Manila, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, the rest of Zambales, Pampanga, Bataan, Bulacan, and Rizal.
The Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Lubang Islands, Marinduque, the Camarines provinces, northern Mindoro, the rest of Quezon and Catanduanes were placed under signal number 1.
Stormy weather is expected in Aurora and Northern Quezon Friday night and over the rest of Central and Northern Luzon Friday night and Saturday.
Occasional rains and gusty winds will prevail over southern Luzon and Metro Manila for the rest of Friday and Saturday.
Flashfloods and landslides are expected in areas along the track of "Santi" and those under storm signal numbers 3 and 2. Around 5,000 barangays, mostly in Luzon, are expected to be hit by "Santi."
Storm surges of up to 4 meters are also possible over the coast of Aurora, Isabela, Cagayan and the Ilocos region.
PAGASA said sea and air travel in the island of Luzon on Friday and Saturday is risky.
Aurora Governor Gerardo Noveras said in a phone interview with ANC that they are prepared for the coming of "Santi."
“Kami po ay handa na, bumibili na po kami ng relief goods particularly bigas at mga canned goods para po nakaready na kami. Portion ng bibilhin namin ngayon ay ipapadala na naming sa Casiguran para just in case kailangan magdistribute ng relief goods dun ay meron na tayong nakahanda,” Noveras said.
He said, evacuation centers in Baler are now on stand-by. “Yung bagong building namin ay nakahanda na para just in case magkaron ng forced evacuation ay meron na kaming pagdadalhan na sigurado sa kanila.”
Noveras encouraged local officials to talk to their constituents and enforce precautionary measures. “Nakikipag coordinate pa ang provincial government sa mga mayors para i-encourage sila na hanggang maaari ay pakiusapan nilang lumikas na ngayon pa lang yung mga constituents nila na nakatira sa tabing ilog at tabing dagat,” he said.
The Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) of Aurora said they are now on high alert. Preparations are being carried out specifically in the towns of Dilasag and Dinalungan which were battered by Typhoon Labuyo two months ago. “Yung mga equipment po namin ay naka-preposition na, yung mga pagkain. Yung mga dumptruck at yung mga heavy equipment, in case kailangang magkaroon ng forced evacuation para yung mga kababayan natin ay pwede ng hakutin,” said Engr. Elson Egargue of PDRRMO Aurora in a phone interview with DZMM.
The Department of Education reminded the public that classes in pre-schools are automatically suspended when signal number 1 is up. High school classes are suspended for areas under signal number 2 while areas under signal number 3 mandate the automatic suspension of classes in all levels.
Local government officials are given the discretion to suspend classes for areas with no storm signals.
The Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) said it is preparing P156 million worth of relief supplies for local government units that will be affected by the typhoon.
DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman said the pre-emptive evacuation of families living in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes is also being conducted to minimize casualties.
The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) also said over a thousand passengers are stranded in various ports due to bad weather.
According to the Coast Guard, a total of 1,557 passengers are stranded as of Friday afternoon.
Several roll-on roll-off (RORO) vessels are also stranded.
PCG Commandant Rear Admiral Rodolfo Isorena has placed all of its units on standby for rescue and assistance efforts.
Typhoon "Santi" is expected to leave the country either on Sunday or Monday.
However, another storm may enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) after Santi leaves the country.
The new tropical disturbance will be called “Tino."
READ MORE: ‘Santi' now a typhoon; storm signals up in 33 areas
Visit ABS-CBN’s weather center for updates.