Storm signals lifted in Visayas, Mindanao

Posted at 12/06/2012 12:15 AM | Updated as of 12/06/2012 7:23 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Storm warning signals in Visayas and Mindanao have been lifted as typhoon “Pablo” continued to move away from the country.

However, storm warning signal number 3 is still up in Luzon, particularly in northern Palawan and the Calamian group of islands.

Signal number two is raised in the rest of Palawan while signal number 1 is up over Occidental Mindoro.

Weather bureau PAGASA said the typhoon was last spotted 180 kilometers northwest of Roxas, Palawan.

It is carrying maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 150 kph.

Pablo, the 16th tropical cyclone to enter the country this year, is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Friday.

'Fujiwara' effect unlikely

There is “very minimal” chance of a “Fujiwara” effect, or that Pablo will make a U-turn, because no other weather disturbance is affecting its northwest movement, said PAGASA weather forecaster Christopher Perez.

However, he noted that Pablo may still intensify as it exits PAR because it is moving over water.

Perez also said the typhoon will no longer have a direct effect on Metro Manila, “aside from cloudy skies and light rains”, which is caused by an enhance northwest monsoon.

Weather in Metro Manila and in most parts of the country are expected to improve over the weekend.

Thousands displaced

The typhoon forced more than a hundred thousand families to flee their homes due to strong winds and floods.

According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), 167,294 people or 35,603 families are temporarily seeking shelter in 372 evacuation centers in Visayas and Mindanao.

The typhoon also left 274 people dead, mostly from Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.

Hundreds are also reported missing.