Philippines braces for weakened Typhoon Mawar

Manila, May 29 (EFE).- The Philippines was preparing Monday for the impact of typhoon Mawar, having already been weakened after losing strength in recent days, but still producing sustained winds above 150 kmph, the country’s weather service said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration reported at 10:00 a.m. Monday (3:00 a.m. GMT) that the center of the typhoon was located 470 kilometers east of Aparri, on the northern tip of the Luzon island, with gusts of up to 190 kmph.

In addition to the strong winds, the administration announced rainfall of up to 200 millimeters from Monday to Wednesday morning, which is possible to produce “floods and landslides caused by the rains,” especially in areas where it has rained in the last few days.

The administration said Sunday that Mawar (known in the Philippines as Betty) had been downgraded from super typhoon status as it lost strength.

However, provinces expecting the greatest damage have taken preventive measures: the government of Batanes (a small archipelago north of Luzon) has suspended classes at all educational levels, while the most exposed areas of Camarines Norte, in Luzon also closed schools.

Philippine authorities recommended that affected populations prepare for possible evacuations and bring any outdoor furniture into their homes and reinforce doors and windows, in addition to turning off electronic devices.

Philippine Airlines announced dozens of cancellations through Wednesday, while its competitor Cebu Pacific canceled five routes for Monday but had not reported changes for the next few days.

After passing through the Philippines, Mawar is expected to continue in a north-northeast direction later this week towards Taiwan, China and South Korea, where the impact could be minimal.

The cyclone is heading toward Luzon after hitting the island of Guam, an unincorporated United States territory in Micronesia on Wednesday, where it left a trail of destruction despite no reports of fatalities or serious injuries. EFE


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