Karen strengthens again ahead of landfall in Aurora
MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Karen (Sarika), which has left at least two people dead, strengthened again late Saturday night, October 15, just a few hours before its expected landfall in Aurora.
In its bulletin issued 11 pm on Saturday, October 15, state weather bureau PAGASA said Karen now has maximum winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 210 km/h.
The typhoon is 120 kilometers east northeast of Infanta, Quezon, still moving west northwest at 22 km/h.
It is projected to make landfall in Aurora early Sunday morning, October 16.
Signal number 3 is raised in the following areas:
- northern Zambales
- Nueva Ecija
- northern Quezon including Polillo Island
- La Union
- Nueva Vizcaya
Signal number 2 is up in these areas:
- Ilocos Sur
- southern Isabela
- Mt Province
- rest of Zambales
- Metro Manila
- rest of Quezon
- Camarines Norte
PAGASA warned that storm surges up to 2.6 meters high are possible in coastal areas of provinces under signal numbers 2 and 3.
The following areas, meanwhile, are under signal number 1:
- Ilocos Norte
- rest of Isabela
- southern Apayao
- southern Cagayan
- Oriental Mindoro
- Camarines Sur
- Burias Island
Moderate to heavy rain is expected within the 500-km diameter of the typhoon.
Just on Friday, October 14, Karen had dumped more than a month's worth of rains in Catanduanes. PAGASA's Virac Radar showed 406.55 millimeters (mm) of rain on Friday alone. The monthly average is just 393.5 mm.
PAGASA said residents of areas under warning signals should watch out for possible floods and landslides.
The state weather bureau also warned that sea travel in the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon and in the northern and eastern seaboards of Samar is risky.
Karen has already caused the cancellation of dozens of domestic and international flights.
After hitting land in Aurora early Sunday, Karen will cross Central Luzon the rest of the morning and then exit landmass via Pangasinan in the afternoon.
The typhoon is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Monday, October 17, between 1 am and 3 am. (Read our live blog here.)
After Karen leaves, however, Tropical Storm Haima – currently located 1,700 km east of Mindanao – will enter PAR on Monday. It will be given the local name Lawin.
Since Haima is still over sea, it can still intensify further, according to PAGASA. – Rappler.com