Philippines braces for Mawar

The country is bracing for super typhoon Mawar which threatens to dump rains and severe winds across the archipelago this weekend.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration on Friday warned that Mawar will dump rains that can trigger flash floods and landslides in many areas, including Metro Manila, as it continues to gain strength while moving towards the Philippines.

In its latest advisory, the state weather bureau said Mawar was spotted east of Luzon island, blowing northwestward at 25kph, packing 215kph winds and gusts of up to 265kph.

Mawar is forecast to enter the Philippines this weekend, becoming the second cyclone to hit the country this year.

The bureau warned that “strong to storm-force conditions” and “strong to gale-force conditions” may be experienced over the northernmost Luzon region.

Mawar is also forecast to enhance the Southwest Monsoon, which may bring monsoon rains over the western parts of Luzon island and the central Philippines beginning today or tomorrow.

The Philippine Coast Guard, the military, and the police are on alert and ensure the teams’ readiness in disaster response operations.

Troops also transported goods to remote Batanes province located on Mawar’s moving path.

Philippine Red Cross chairman and CEO Richard Gordon said the agency “is in the midst of preparation ahead of Mawar.”

“Philippine Red Cross’s rescue and relief assets, equipment, and volunteers are ready to move,” Gordon said, adding that the agency’s food trucks, relief goods, water tankers, and loaders are in place and can be mobilised instantly.

The Philippine Ports Authority on Friday suspended sea trips in several provinces.

Authorities urged coastal and landslide-prone residents to be vigilant and to evacuate safely as the typhoon approached. — Xinhua

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