Karen slightly weakens as it crosses Central Luzon
MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Karen (Sarika) slightly weakened Sunday morning, October 16, as it crossed the rugged terrain of Central Luzon.
In its bulletin issued 8 am on Saturday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Karen now has maximum winds of up to 130 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 220 km/h.
The typhoon is in the vicinity of Binalonan, Pangasinan, still moving west northwest at 22 km/h. It is expected to exit landmass via Pangasinan on Sunday morning, after making landfall in Baler, Aurora at 2:30 am.
Two fatalities have been reported, so far, both in Catanduanes.
Signal number 3 remains raised in the following areas:
- northern Zambales
- La Union
Signal number 2 is up in these areas:
- Nueva Ecija
- Nueva Vizcaya
- Ilocos Sur
- Mt Province
- rest of Zambales
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:
- southern Isabela
- Metro Manila
- northern Quezon including Polillo Island
- Ilocos Norte
- southern Apayao
Moderate to heavy rain is expected within the 400-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 eastern and southern seaboards of Southern Luzon is risky.
Karen has already caused the cancellation of dozens of domestic and international flights.
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 1,490 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