A Filipino villager rides a bicycle along a street covered by floodwater in Malabon city, Metro Manila, Philippines, 26 July 2023. EFE-EPA FILE/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

Typhoon Saola weakens slightly as it heads towards northern Philippines

Manila, Aug 28 (EFE).- Typhoon Saola, which is located about 210 kilometers (130 miles) east of the northern Philippine island of Luzon, weakened slightly as it headed north of the country, local authorities said Monday.

Saola, which brought heavy rainfall and strong winds in Luzon over the weekend, currently registers sustained winds of 155 kilometers per hour (96 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 195 kilometers per hour.

On Monday, state meteorological agency PAGASA lowered the alert from level three to one – out of a maximum of five – in several northern provinces of Luzon.

PAGASA warned that, despite the fact that the eye of the typhoon is not expected to make landfall, alerts for strong winds could be raised between Tuesday and Wednesday in the extreme north of Luzon, the small Babuyan and Batanes Island groups, Luzon Strait and the northernmost islands of the Philippines.

After leaving the Philippines, if it maintains its current course, the typhoon will head towards southern Taiwan, where it could make landfall on the southernmost part of the island on Thursday.

Some 2,000 people have been affected by Saola in northern Luzon, in addition to infrastructure damage valued at about 40 million Philippine pesos ($706,000), the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council estimated Monday.

PAGASA also announced Monday that it was monitoring a tropical depression about 2,350 kilometers east of Luzon, which is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

The Philippines, which registers about 20 typhoons or tropical storms a year, was struck last month by Doksuri, which caused at least 25 deaths and a trail of destruction as it passed through the north of the archipelago. EFE