Typhoon Karen intensifies as it threatens Aurora

Typhoon Karen intensifies as it threatens Aurora
The typhoon now has maximum winds of up to 140 km/h and gustiness of up to 195 km/h

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MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Karen (Sarika) intensified further early Saturday evening, October 15, ahead of its expected landfall in Aurora early Sunday morning, October 16.

In its bulletin issued 8 pm on Saturday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Karen now has maximum winds of up to 140 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 195 km/h.

The typhoon is 155 kilometers east northeast of Infanta, Quezon, still moving west northwest at 22 km/h. It will pass close to Polillo Island on Saturday night before making landfall early Sunday morning.

Signal number 3 is raised in the following areas:

  • Pangasinan
  • northern Zambales
  • Tarlac
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Aurora
  • northern Quezon including Polillo Island
  • La Union
  • Benguet
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Quirino

Signal number 2 is up in these areas:

  • Ilocos Sur
  • southern Isabela
  • Mt Province
  • Ifugao
  • rest of Zambales
  • Pampanga
  • Bulacan
  • Bataan
  • Rizal
  • 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
  • Abra
  • Kalinga
  • rest of Isabela
  • southern Apayao
  • southern Cagayan
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Cavite
  • Batangas
  • Laguna
  • Marinduque
  • Camarines Sur
  • Catanduanes
  • Albay
  • 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, especially those in Aurora and northern Quezon, in the eastern side of the Sierra Madre.

Metro Manila, in particular, will experience “rains with some gusty winds” starting Saturday night.

PAGASA also warned that sea travel in the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon and in the northern and eastern seaboards of Samar is risky.

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.

Forecast track of Typhoon Karen as of October 15, 8 pm. Image courtesy of PAGASA

After Karen leaves, however, Tropical Storm Haima – currently located 1,850 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

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