Storm signals lifted even as 'Lawin' intensifies

Posted at 09/24/12 7:20 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The state weather bureau has lifted all storm warning signals even as typhoon "Lawin" (international name: Jelawat) continued to intensify.

PAGASA said Lawin was spotted 480 kilometers east of Legazpi City at 4 a.m.

The typhoon has gained strength, now packing maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph.

It maintained its north-northwest direction, but has slowed down at 7 kph.

PAGASA forecaster Connie Rose Dadivas said if the typhoon maintains its speed and direction, it will exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday morning.

Dadivas said southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao will continue to experience rains brought by the typhoon and the enhanced southwest monsoon (habagat).

"Hindi natin inaasahang magre-recurve ito, pero sa nakikita natin, magpapaulan pa rin ito dahil sa habagat sa mga susunod na 3 hanggang 4 na araw," Dadivas told dzMM.

Estimated rainfall amount is from 10 - 20 millimeters per hour (heavy - intense) within the typhoon's 700-km diameter.

PAGASA said MIMAROPA, Bicol region, Visayas and Mindanao will experience cloudy skies with occasional moderate to heavy rains which may trigger floods and landslides.

Metro Manila, CALABARZON and central Luzon will have occasional light to moderate rains and thunderstorms.

Northern Luzon, on the other hand, will have partly cloudy weather with brief rains or thunderstorms.

PAGASA also issued a gale warning over the northern and eastern seaboards of northern Luzon; the eastern seaboard of central and southern Luzon; and the seaboards of Visayas and Mindanao.

The weather bureau warned small fishing boats and seacrafts in these seaboards against venturing out into the sea due to rough conditions.