Manila, May 26 (EFE).-Super Typhoon Mawar, which has battered the US Western Pacific territory of Guam, intensified on Friday as it neared the Philippines and Taiwan, bringing down torrential rain and producing winds of up to 260 kph.
Weather authorities said the eye of the typhoon was estimated at over 1,700 km east of Luzon, the most populous island in the Philippines.
It carried maximum sustained winds of 215 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 260 kph, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
As a precautionary measure, authorities in several towns of the center, south and north of the country suspended classes for two days from Friday.
Mawar to be renamed Betty once it enters the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) is expected Friday night or Saturday.
Pagasa warned that the typhoon might bring heavy rains that might trigger flooding or rain-induced landslides over Northern Luzon beginning late Sunday or Monday next week.
Strong to storm-force conditions may occur over extreme northern Luzon, while strong to gale-force conditions are possible over the Northern Luzon mainland.
Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Friday that the government had readied proper disaster response because of the typhoon.
He said concerned government agencies would assist the local governments in dealing with the situation due to Mawar.
“We have already warned the LGUs to prepare in case of heavy rains and flooding. What we are doing is we leave it to the LGUs right now to make the call on what they should do. The national government is here to assist,” Marcos said.
The Natural Disaster Reduction Agency (NDRRM) has prepared supplies in two of the northernmost regions in the face of expected flooding from the super typhoon.
Shipping activities have been suspended for the weekend in several areas.
At the beginning of the month, authorities predicted that around ten typhoons would enter the area of the Philippines in 2023 due to the phenomenon known as “El Nino,” which warms the waters of the Pacific Ocean and causes the formation of more cyclones.
The cyclone is headed toward the Luzon Strait between the Philippines and Taiwan after battering Guam island, an unincorporated territory of the United States in Micronesia.
The typhoon has left a trail of destruction in Guam. EFE