MANILA – According to Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecasters, the Philippines may experience moderate to heavy rains this weekend as typhoon ‘Hanna’ strengthens the southwest monsoon or ‘habagat.’
Upon entering the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) yesterday morning, ‘Hanna’ has slightly weakened. PAGASA, however, cautioned the public as it remained a strong tropical cyclone. Thus, the typhoon may still trigger flashfloods and landslides, especially in Mindanao. Rescue teams were then on standby alert for immediate deployment.
By afternoon, ‘Hanna’ maintained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of 230 kph, moving westwards. Expected rains started pouring in Mindanao.
By Thursday, PAGASA announced that ‘Hanna’ continued to weaken but may still re-strengthen in the coming days. There was also the possibility that it will no longer become a super typhoon.
“It has slightly weakened because the sea surface temperature has been cooler. As of the moment, data analysis showed it may no longer reach the super typhoon status because it has already reached its peak but we are not discounting the possibility that it may still re-strengthen,” weather forecaster Samuel Duran said.
PAGASA, does not expect ‘Hanna’ to make landfall, but its outer circulation may still affect the country. Heavy and intense rains were then expected to pour in Northern Luzon by Friday or Saturday. On the other hand, light to moderate rains may be experienced in Visayas, while cloudy skies and isolated thunderstorms can be expected in Metro Manila and Mindanao.
Gale warnings have already been issued in Northern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, and around 50 families have been ordered to vacate their houses near Mt. Apo in Kidapawan.
“Fishing boats and other small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves,” weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio said.
‘Hanna’ has been making its way towards Taiwan. It will be outside PAR by Saturday morning.