More Luzon areas under Signal No. 1 as Typhoon Betty further weakens over Philippine Sea

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 28) — Typhoon Betty further weakened while moving northwestward over the Philippine Sea, the state weather bureau said late Sunday evening.

According to its 11 p.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Betty was moving at 10 kilometers per hour (kph) in a west northwestward direction over the Philippine Sea, 580 kms east of Aparri, Cagayan. It said Betty was packing maximum sustained winds of 155 kph near its center and gustiness of up to 190 kph.

Earlier at 5 p.m., PAGASA reported that it had a wind speed of 165 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 205 kph.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 was hoisted over the following areas in Luzon: Batanes, Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, Isabela, Quirino, the northeastern portion of Nueva Vizcaya, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Ilocos Norte, the northern and central portions of Aurora, Polillo Islands, the northern portion of Catanduanes, the northeastern portion of Camarines Sur, and the northern portion of Camarines Norte.

PAGASA warned that strong winds are possible in the abovementioned areas.

Heavy rainfall is also expected from Monday to Tuesday in the eastern portion of Babuyan Islands, the northeastern portion of mainland Cagayan, Batanes, the northwestern portion of mainland Cagayan, and the northern portions of Ilocos Norte and Apayao.

Betty, which entered the country’s weather monitoring area at 2 a.m. on Saturday, was downgraded from super typhoon to typhoon on the same day.

The state weather bureau said that the typhoon will also enhance the Southwest Monsoon. Thus, monsoon rains are possible over Mimaropa and Western Visayas on Monday and Tuesday next week. Monsoon rains may also be experienced in the western portion of Luzon on Wednesday.

It is seen to move generally northwestward slowly on Monday and become slow-moving of almost stationary by Tuesday or Wednesday over the waters of east Batanes.

Betty is expected to steadily weaken due to cooler ocean waters and dry air intrusion. It may be downgraded into a severe tropical storm on Thursday, PAGASA added.

Local government action

Amid the effects of the tropical cyclone, several local government units have taken preemptive action to ensure the safety of their constituents.

READ: Gov’t begins preemptive evacuation in areas to be affected by Betty

On Sunday, the Cagayan Valley Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council ordered local disaster risk reduction and management councils in the region to begin conducting preemptive evacuations.

It also ordered LGUs to strictly implement the “no sail, no fishing, and no river activities” policy in areas close to the Cagayan rivers and its tributaries.

In Apayao, Governor Elias Bulut Jr. also ordered preemptive evacuation in the province, particularly in areas prone to flooding and landslides.

However, Apayao provincial disaster risk reduction and management officer Joeffrey Borromeo told CNN Philippines that evacuation has not yet started and may begin tomorrow.