‘Karen’ intensifies into severe tropical storm

MANILA – Tropical cyclone ‘Karen’ (international name ‘Sakira’) intensified into a severe tropical storm Friday and threatened Catanduanes province to unleash maximum sustained winds of up to 100 kph.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its severe weather bulletin 7 released Friday afternoon that ‘Karen’ packed maximum sustained winds of up to 100 kph near its center and gustiness of up to 140 kph.

“Estimated amount of rainfall is from moderate to heavy within the 500-km diameter of the storm,” PAGASA also said.

Government may raise tropical cyclone warning signal 2 this Friday evening or Saturday morning (Oct. 15) over Quezon, Aurora and Albay provinces as well as Polillio Island, PAGASA said.

“Flash floods and landslides may occur in areas under signals 2 and 1,” warned PAGASA.

PAGASA cautioned fisherfolk and those with small seacraft to avoid sailing in waters along Eastern Samar’s eastern seaboard, noting waves there can reach 4.0 meters high.

PAGASA said signal 2 is already prevailing over Catanduanes, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte where 61 kph to 120 kph winds are expected in 24 hours.

Storm surge of 4.1 meters to 14.0 meters high were possible in coastal areas there, said PAGASA.

Signal 1 was hoisted over Albay, Sorsogon, Quezon including Polillo Island, Aurora, Isabela, Quirino, Laguna, Rizal, Marinduque, Ticao and Burias Island, Masbate, Nueva Ecija, Bulacan, Pampanga, Cavite, Batangas and Metro Manila all in Luzon as well as Northern Samar in the Visayas.

Between 30 kph to 60 kph winds are expected there in 36 hours, said PAGASA.

‘Karen’ was 205 km east of Virac in Catanduanes province as of 4 p.m. Friday, said PAGASA.

The agency forecast ‘Karen’ to move west-northwestwards at nine kph, reaching the vicinity of Catanduanes by Saturday afternoon (Oct. 15) then being 45 km north-northeast of Iba in Zambales province bySunday afternoon (Oct. 16).

PAGASA also forecast ‘Karen’ to be outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Monday afternoon (Oct. 17). Catherine Teves/PNA-northboundasia.com