‘Karen’ can become typhoon, warns PAGASA

MANILA – Tropical storm ‘Karen’ (international name ‘Sarika’) can further intensify into a typhoon this weekend.

Such scenario is possible as ‘Karen’ is still over water where it continues drawing energy needed to increase strength, noted weather forecaster Dennison Estareja from State-run Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

‘That storm can intensify into a typhoon in 24 to 48 hours,” he said Friday afternoon.

He warned about onslaught of moderate to heavy rainfall as well as winds of at least 118 kph if such scenario occurs.

“Communities in Luzon, particularly the Quezon province-Aurora province area, must prepare for such possibility,” he said.

In its severe weather bulletin 6 released Friday, PAGASA located ‘Karen’ at some 260 km east of Virac in Catanduanes province.

‘Karen’ packed maximum sustained winds of up to 85 kph near its center and gustiness of up to 105 kph, said PAGASA.

“The storm continues to intensify as it moves closer to the Catanduanes-Camarines Sur area,” PAGASA noted, referring to two provinces in Bicol Region.

PAGASA forecast ‘Karen’ to move west-northwest at 9 kph.

According to PAGASA, ‘Karen’ will likely be 85 km north-northeast of Virac by Saturday morning (Oct. 15) and in the vicinity of Aurora’s Baler municipality by Sunday morning (Oct. 16).

Citing latest available data, Estareja said there’s already a 100 percent chance for ‘Karen’ to landfall.

He said ‘Karen’ will likely landfall in the Quezon-Aurora area this Sunday morning.

‘Karen’ is expected to cross Luzon and likely be 380 km west of Sinait in Ilocos Sur by Monday morning (Oct. 17).

PAGASA forecast ‘Karen’ to be already outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Tuesday morning (Oct. 18). Catherine Teves-PNA-northboundasia.com