'Betty' still moving slowly over waters east of Batanes and Babuyan Islands

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 29) — The lowest tropical cyclone wind signal has been lifted in several areas in Luzon as Typhoon Betty moves slowly over the waters east of Batanes and Babuyan Islands, the state weather bureau said late Monday evening.

Batanes and the northeastern portion of Cagayan, including Babuyan Islands, remain under Signal No. 2, which means gale-force winds that have minor to moderate threat to life and property are possible.

Signal No. 1 is still up over the rest of mainland Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, the eastern portion of Mountain Province, and the northern part of Aurora, according to the 11 p.m. weather bulletin of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) .

These areas in Northern Luzon may feel the effects of Betty longer as the cyclone continues to move slowly, PAGASA earlier said.

The state weather bureau also said Betty is starting to enhance the southwest monsoon, or habagat.

The habagat may bring rains over the western portions of Southern Luzon and Visayas, PAGASA added.

PAGASA weather forecaster Veronica Torres earlier told CNN Philippines' Balitaan that Metro Manila may expect light to moderate with at times heavy rains starting on Tuesday due to the habagat.

Meanwhile, Betty was last spotted 405 kilometers east southeast of Basco, Batanes. It maintained maximum sustained winds of 155 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 190 kph.

The typhoon is moving north-northwestward "slowly," PAGASA said without providing its latest speed. Betty last decelerated to 10 kph from 15 kph on Monday afternoon.

It is seen to continue moving generally northward slowly until Wednesday before gradually accelerating north-northeastward on Thursday.

PAGASA said Betty may exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility as a severe tropical storm or tropical storm on Friday.

In a briefing, Philippine National Police chief Benjamin Acorda Jr. said more than 27,000 police officers were mobilized to assist local disaster response officials in preemptive evacuation and rescue operations, with personnel also being positioned on identified flood-prone areas of Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, and Western Visayas.

As of Monday afternoon, Cagayan has preemptively evacuated more than 400 residents due to the typhoon.