Typhoon “Lawin” may intensify into a super typhoon before making landfall in Northern Luzon Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Tuesday.
The typhoon was 930 kilometers east of Tayabas, Quezon at 5 p.m. yesterday with maximum sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 230 kph.
The weather bureau said it may raise typhoon signals to 4 and 5 if “Lawin” will further intensify.
Weather forecaster Benison Estareja said Lawin may hit land with a strength between 200 kph and 220 kph.
Lawin is moving west northwest at 25 kph.
The typhoon is forecast to hit Cagayan tomorrow. It is expected to leave on Friday.
Pagasa raised signal no. 1 in Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Cagayan, Calayan Group of Islands, Batanes Group of Islands, Kalinga, Abra, Ilocos Sur, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, Aurora, Catanduanes, Pangasinan, Polillo Island, and Nueva Ecija.
The weather bureau expects the typhoon to leave a trail of destruction in areas where it will pass because of its intensity.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development had replenished and prepositioned relief supplies in areas that will be pounded by the typhoon.
Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said her department is monitoring the situation and keeping watch on the relief goods pre-positioned for local government units (LGUs) in areas that will be hit by “Lawin.”
Taguiwalo noted that the field office in Ilocos has stashed goods in 12 satellite warehouses that are accessible to LGUs in case they need assistance. It also has a standby fund of P2.2 million that can be used for the emergency purchase of relief supplies.
“The pre-positioned items are in the form of food and non-food-items, consisting of ready-to-eat rice, tuna, bottled mineral water, mats, blankets, malongs, mosquito nets, water jugs, and used clothing,” she said.
She the supplies are distributed in the provinces of La Union, Pangasinan, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte.
Meanwhile, in Cagayan Valley, the department has 10,370 family food packs stored in its warehouse on top of the 12,900 packs and 3,696 pieces of ready-to-eat food (RTEF) that have been pre-positioned in Cagayan and Isabela. It also has a standby fund of P4 million.
Taguiwalo said field offices in areas hit by Typhoon Karen continue to assist LGUs in attending to the needs of displaced families.
She said the number of evacuation centers have been reduced from 600 to 251 as many of the affected families have gone back to their homes.
All evacuation centers in Cagayan Valley have closed, along with a number in the Bicol region.
However, some 11,077 families or 54,296 persons remain in evacuation centers in Ilocos, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and in other parts of Bicol as of Tuesday.