Typhoon Karen strengthens as it nears Catanduanes

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MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Karen (Sarika) intensified further as it moved closer to Catanduanes early Saturday morning, October 15.

In its bulletin issued 5 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 180 km/h.

It is already 125 kilometers northeast of Virac, Catanduanes, moving west northwest at a slightly faster 13 km/h from the previous 9 km/h.

Signal number 3 is still raised in Catanduanes.

Signal number 2 is up in these areas:

PAGASA warned that storm surges are possible in coastal areas of provinces under signal numbers 2 and 3.

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 15, 5 am. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Forecast track of Typhoon Karen as of October 15, 5 am.

Image courtesy of PAGASA

PAGASA is also monitoring a tropical depression east of Mindanao which could enter PAR on Tuesday, October 18. – Rappler.com