Manila, May 26 : The Philippines is bracing for super typhoon Mawar which threatens to dump rains and severe winds across the archipelago this weekend, the country’s weather forecaster warned on Friday.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration 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 25 kilometers per hour, packing 215 kilometers per hour winds and gusts of up to 265 kilometers per hour.
Mawar is forecast to enter the Philippines either on Friday night or early Saturday morning, becoming the second cyclone to hit the Southeast Asian 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 on Sunday or Monday.
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 mobilized 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.
Located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is among the most disaster-prone countries globally, with active volcanoes, frequent earthquakes and an average of 20 typhoons a year, causing floods and landslides.
Nearly three-fourths of the country’s population is vulnerable to multiple natural hazards, and such disasters worsen poverty in typhoon-prone provinces along the country’s eastern seaboard.
In recent years, Philippines has been hit by several major disasters, including super typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which killed over 7,000 people.