Karen now a typhoon; Catanduanes under signal no. 3

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MANILA, Philippines – Severe Tropical Storm Karen (Sarika) intensified into a typhoon late Friday evening, October 14.

In its bulletin posted shortly before 1 am on Saturday, October 15, state weather bureau PAGASA said Karen now has maximum winds of up to 120 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 150 km/h.

It is already 160 kilometers east northeast of Virac, Catanduanes, still moving west northwest at 9 km/h.

Signal number 3 is now raised in Catanduanes, while signal number 2 remains up in Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte. PAGASA warned that storm surges are possible in coastal areas of these 3 provinces.

The following areas, meanwhile, are under signal number 1:

Moderate to heavy rain is expected within the 500-km diameter of the typhoon. Residents of areas under warning signals should watch out for possible floods and landslides.

PAGASA also warned that sea travel in the seaboard of Eastern Samar is risky.

Karen could pass close to Polillo Island early Sunday morning, October 16, then make landfall in the Quezon-Aurora area before noon.

The typhoon is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Monday, October 17.

Forecast track of Typhoon Karen as of October 14, 11 pm. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Forecast track of Typhoon Karen as of October 14, 11 pm.

Image courtesy of PAGASA

Tropical depression, too

After Karen leaves on Monday, however, another tropical cyclone is expected to enter PAR on Tuesday, October 18.

It's a tropical depression that was 1,980 kilometers east of Mindanao as of 4 pm on Friday, moving west northwest at 13 km/h.

The tropical depression has maximum winds of up to 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h.

It could still intensify further, said PAGASA. – Rappler.com