Typhoon Lawin arrives, threatens northern Luzon

MANILA — The typhoon with international name ‘Haima’ entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) early Monday evening, threatening to bring inclement weather to northern Luzon this week, the state weather bureau said.

Estimated rainfall is moderate to heavy within the 600-km. diameter of ‘Haima’, which crossed the eastern border of PAR at about 5:30 p.m. and assumed its local name ‘Lawin’, said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

In its severe weather bulletin 1 released Monday afternoon, PAGASA forecast ‘Lawin’ to move west-northwest at 24 kph.

“Fair weather will generally prevail in the country on Tuesday even if ‘Lawin’ is already inside PAR but Northern and Central Luzon will begin experiencing this tropical cyclone’s fury around Wednesday,” said PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio.

He said other areas in Luzon will likely experience cloudiness and some rain.

PAGASA expects ‘Lawin’ to make landfall Thursday morning at the Cagayan area, then head towards and cross Northern Luzon’s Apayao and Ilocos Norte provinces.

‘Lawin’ entered PAR packing even stronger maximum sustained winds of up to 175 kph near its center and gustiness of up to 215 kph, said Aurelio.

“The typhoon can intensify further,” he said.

He however noted that it is still too early to say if ‘Lawin’ would intensify into a super typhoon.

PAGASA does not discount such possibility, weather forecaster Meno Mendoza said earlier.

He said ‘Lawin’ is still over water where it continues to draw the energy needed to increase strength.

‘Lawin’ can intensify further before making landfall, noted the bureau.

PAGASA located ‘Lawin’ at 1,245 km. east of Albay province’s capital Legazpi City.

The agency also forecast ‘Lawin’ to be 975 km. east of Aurora province’s Baler municipality by Tuesday afternoon, 400 km. east of Aurora’s Casiguran municipality by Wednesday afternoon and in the vicinity of Ilocos Norte’s capital Laoag City by Thursday afternoon.

According to PAGASA, ‘Lawin’ may exit PAR this Friday.

PAGASA added that ‘Lawin’ will likely be 510 km. west-northwest of Batanes province’s capital Basco by Friday afternoon, already well outside PAR. Catherine Teves/PNA-northboundasia.com