Signal No. 1 still up over 12 areas in northern Luzon as 'Betty' keeps strength

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 28) — Signal No. 1 is still up over 12 areas in northern Luzon as Typhoon Betty (international name: Mawar) has maintained its strength as it traverses the Philippine Sea, according to the state weather bureau.

In its 5 a.m. bulletin on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Signal No. 1 is raised over Batanes, Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, Isabela, Quirino, and the northeastern portion of Nueva Vizcaya (Kasibu, Quezon, Solano, Bagabag, Diadi, Villaverde, Bayombong, and Ambaguio).

Signal No. 1 is also hoisted over Apayao, Ilocos Norte, the northern and central portions of Abra (Tineg, Lacub, Lagayan, San Juan, Lagangilang, Licuan-Baay, Malibcong, Danglas, La Paz, Dolores, Tayum, Bucay, Sallapadan, Daguioman, Bucloc, and Boliney), Kalinga, the eastern and central portions of Mountain Province (Sadanga, Barlig, Natonin, Paracelis, and Bontoc), the eastern and central portions of Ifugao (Mayoyao, Aguinaldo, Alfonso Lista, Banaue, Hingyon, Lagawe, Lamut, Kiangan, and Asipulo), and the northern and central portions of Aurora (Dilasag, Casiguran, Dinalungan, and Dipaculao.

"Itong mga area na nabanggit natin ay posibleng makaranas ng malalakas na hangin posible mamayang gabi o Lunes, kung saan itong malalakas na hangin na dulot ni Bagyong Betty ay posibleng magdulot ng minimal to minor damages lalong lalo na sa structures na gawa sa light materials," PAGASA weather specialist Grace Castañeda said during the 5 a.m. briefing.

[Translation: These areas may possibly experience strong winds due to Typhoon Betty on Sunday night or Monday that could cause minimal to minor damage, especially to structures made of light materials.]

"Posibleng as early as Monday, makaranas na ng mga pag-ulan 'yong ilang bahagi ng northern Luzon, kasabay naman nito na i-enhance 'yong southwest monsoon na siyang magdudulot ng mga pag-ulan dito sa may kanlurang bahagi ng western Visayas at southern Luzon," she added.

[Translation: It's possible that as early as Monday, some parts of northern Luzon may experience rains as the storm enhances the southwest monsoon that will bring rains over the western portion of western Visayas and southern Luzon.]

She also advised residents in affected areas to get ready for the effects of the typhoon.

While strong rains may be experienced in northern Luzon, heavy rainfall may be expected from Monday evening to Tuesday evening in Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the northern portion of Ilocos Norte, PAGASA said.

Heavy rainfall may also be experienced in Batanes, Ilocos Sur, the northern portion of La Union, and the northern portion of Benguet from Tuesday evening to Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, a marine gale warning remained in effect over the northern and eastern seaboards of northern Luzon, eastern seaboards of central and southern Luzon, and the eastern coasts of Visayas and Mindanao.

Betty, which was downgraded from super typhoon to typhoon on Saturday night, was last located 815 kilometers (km) east of northern Luzon. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 175 km per hour (kph) near its center and gustiness of up to 215 kph.

It is forecast to move west-northwestward or northwestward until Monday while gradually slowing.

"The typhoon will likely become slow-moving to almost stationary by Tuesday while over the waters east of Batanes," PAGASA said. "It will then move northward or north northeastward by mid Wednesday or Thursday towards the sea east of Taiwan."

The weather bureau also said Betty is seen to remain as a typhoon throughout the forecast period but it is expected to gradually weaken until Tuesday.

"Afterwards, increasingly unfavorable environment while moving northward or north northeastward on Wednesday or Thursday will result in a faster weakening rate," the agency added. "Betty may be downgraded to severe tropical storm category on late Thursday or early Friday."

Betty entered the country's weather monitoring area at 2 a.m. Saturday. It is the second tropical cyclone to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility this year and the first for May.