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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Typhoon Mawar moves near the Philippines

By The New Yok Times

Evacuations were underway Monday in the northern Philippines as Typhoon Mawar continued to swirl in the Pacific Ocean, after walloping Guam last week with heavy rain and howling wind.

As of Monday afternoon in the Philippines, Mawar’s center was about 276 miles east of Calayan, Cagayan — an area just north of Luzon, the country’s largest and most populous island — the Philippine meteorological agency said. Because the country gives its own names to typhoons that enter its so-called area of responsibility, a large area of the Western North Pacific, the storm is known locally as Betty.

Local news outlets have reported that some residents in northern sections of the country had been evacuated. Authorities had also ordered more than 27,000 personnel to assist in responding to the storm.

The storm was moving northwest at about 6 mph with maximum sustained winds of about 120 mph, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, which is operated by the U.S. Navy. That wind speed is equivalent to the force of a strong Category 3 Atlantic hurricane.

Forecasters said the storm would become slow-moving or almost stationary from Tuesday into Wednesday and would likely stay north of the Philippines before weakening later this week. But heavy rain, flooding, landslides and gale-force winds were expected in northern Luzon on Monday, the Philippine weather agency said. Some areas of the country were also forecast to receive nearly 4 inches of rain by Tuesday afternoon.

As Mawar continues to head north, then northeast, the impact on Taiwan, China and South Korea could be minimal. Depending on the timing of other weather systems in the area, the storm could instead track farther west toward Taiwan, or northwest toward Japan.

Those developments wouldn’t come until later this week and into the weekend, and a lot could change in the atmosphere in that time. As the storm moves north, whether toward or away from Japan, it is expected to weaken as it encounters cooler waters.

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