'Pablo' to exit PAR on Friday

Posted at 12/06/2012 7:23 AM | Updated as of 12/06/2012 11:21 AM
MTSAT ENHANCED-IR Satellite Image 6:30 a.m., 06 December 2012

MANILA, Philippines – Tropical storm "Pablo" is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) with its current speed of 13 kilometers per hour, weather bureau PAGASA said on Thursday morning.

PAGASA said as of 4 a.m., Pablo was located 350 kms west of Coron, Palawan.

The weather bureau has lowered all storm warning signals, except for Calamian Group of Islands, which remains under signal no. 1.

Pablo has also weakened, now packing maximum sustained winds of 115 kph near the center and gusts of up to 145 kph.

It was moving west northwest at 13 kph. PAGASA said with this speed and direction, Pablo will leave PAR by Friday morning.

PAGASA forecaster Cris Perez, meanwhile, said there is a small chance for the typhoon to go back to the country.

"Maliit ang chance na mag-recurve ito pabalik sa bansa, ang nakikitang scenario, magpapatuloy itong lumayo, papunta sa West Philippine Sea," he told dzMM.

Deaths

Pablo has already left 322 people dead in its wake, with scores still missing, mostly in the battered region of northern Mindanao.

Most of the fatalities came from flashflood- and mudslide-hit New Bataan, Compostela Valley where at least 78 people have been confirmed dead and 319 still missing.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, in an interview with radio dzMM, said Compostela Valley and other provinces hit by the typhoon were already suffering from lack of body bags.

As of Wednesday evening, at least 20 of the 78 fatalities remain unidentified. Some of the bodies were already bloated, Roxas said.