Super Typhoon Mawar slightly intensifies as it continues to move toward PH

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 26) — Super Typhoon Mawar continues to gain strength as it moves west northwestward over the Philippine Sea outside the country's weather monitoring area, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Friday.

According to the 4 p.m. bulletin, Mawar was last located 1,725 kilometers east of Central Luzon while moving west northwestward at 25 km/h.

It has a strength of 215 km/h near the center, gustiness of up to 265 km/h.

The super typhoon will be tagged as "Betty" once it enters the country's weather monitoring area by Friday night or early Saturday morning. It is projected to remain inside the monitoring area in the next three to five days.

PAGASA added that Mawar is forecast to reach its peak intensity within 24 hours and may slightly weaken by Saturday evening. However, it is expected to remain as a super typhoon until Monday.

In a press briefing, PAGASA weather specialist Ana Clauren-Jorda said that Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 2 or 3 may be hoisted over the extreme northern portion of Luzon, particularly in Batanes and Babuyan Islands.

She added that wind signal may also be raised over the eastern portion of central Luzon in the coming days.

But she noted that the chance of Mawar making landfall in Luzon remains slim.

The state weather bureau's forecast also shows the typhoon may bring heavy rains, which may trigger flooding or rain-induced landslides, over Northern Luzon beginning late Sunday or Monday.

The super typhoon's rain bands may bring heavy rainfall over Cagayan Valley from Sunday until Tuesday next week.

Mawar is also seen to trigger monsoon rains over Metro Manila, and the western portion of the country during the weekend.

Some sea trips have been suspended as a precautionary measure. According to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), it has directed all ports nationwide to be operational 24/7, especially to assist passengers who may be stranded.

PPA Spokesperson Eunice Samonte also told CNN Philippines’ Traffic Center that they are awaiting advisory from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on the possible implementation of a no-sail policy.

In a separate interview on Newsroom Ngayon earlier in the day, the PCG warned fishermen in the eastern seaboard of the country against sailing, as well as those with small boats.

Strongest typhoon?

Meanwhile, PAGASA said Mawar is so far the strongest typhoon to affect the Philippines this year.

"As of the moment, siya yung pinakamalakas sa ngayon. Pero medyo mahaba pa ang taon, posibleng may lalakas pa o mahihigitan ito," said PAGASA weather services chief Juanito Galang.

[Translation: As of the moment, it is the strongest for now. But we still have a long way to go this year and we can still possibly encounter stronger typhoons than this.]

The state weather bureau also noted that the El Niño phenomenon will persist even though the rainy or "habagat" season kicks off early next week.

"Beginning next month, June, July, hanggang towards the end of the year, tuloy-tuloy yung development ng El Niño," said PAGASA officer-in-charge Esperanza Cayanan.

[Translation: Beginning next month, June and July, and until towards the end of the year, El Niño will continue to develop.]

"Kapag mayroon tayong El Niño, nae-enhance yung ating habagat kaya mas maraming ulan yung ine-expect natin doon sa normal."

[Translation: If we have El Niño, it enhances the southwest monsoon which results in more rainfalls expected than normal.]

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said the government is preparing for the possible effects of the super typhoon.

The Department of Budget and Management, on the other hand, said that the national government has some P18.3 billion calamity fund allocated for disaster relief operations throughout 2023.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council earlier said preemptive evacuation is possible, specifically in Batanes and the coastal towns of Cagayan.