Residents of the fishing village of Yilan, Taiwan, prepared for the oncoming storm by securing their boats and homes.
Typhoon Mawar, which unleashed strong winds of 96 mph and gusts of up to 118 mph on Guam, has been gradually losing strength and slowing down. Though it’s losing its strength residents need to be alert because it still poses risks. It is moving north of the Philippines towards Taiwan and southern Japan.
According to the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA), responsible for monitoring and tracking tropical cyclones in the western Pacific tropical basin, Mawar’s center was in the central Philippine Sea as of Sunday afternoon. The storm had winds equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, with maximum sustained winds ranging from 111 to 126 mph (178-208 km/h).
After nearing Guam, Mawar intensified to a Category 5 hurricane on Friday, featuring maximum sustained winds of at least 157 mph (252 km/h).
According to the Philippine meteorological bureau, as of Tuesday afternoon, Typhoon Mawar’s center was approximately 195 miles east of Batanes, a municipality located at the northernmost part of the archipelago. Certain areas were expected to receive up to four inches of rainfall through Wednesday afternoon, although there was general anticipation of decreasing winds.
It is not expected that Mawar will hit Taiwan as it heads toward Japan this week. However, Taiwanese authorities have issued a typhoon warning for the ocean. The storm is predicted to bring strong gusts and increase the monsoonal rains that often fall in the area at this time of year.
People in the northern sections of the Philippines, including the island of Luzon, the biggest and most populated in the Philippines, have started leaving their homes since the weekend to ensure their safety.
The Philippines designates unique names for typhoons that fall within its designated area of responsibility, which encompasses a substantial portion of the Western North Pacific. Consequently, the storm is recognized locally as Betty.
While overseeing the port, Wang Hsing-chieh, a coast guard officer, and his crew announced their plan to deploy coast guard personnel to patrol the area and warn beachgoers.
Some residents of Ivana boarded up their windows and piled sandbags on their rooftops after hearing that Mawar would be more powerful than expected.
Juliet Cataluna, a provincial official from Batanes residing in the coastal town of Ivana, conveyed to The Associated Press via cellphone, “Although I’m currently on the roof, the wind isn’t strong enough to blow me away. I sincerely hope that we will be fortunate enough to avoid any damages, including those affecting our livelihood, agricultural yield, and homes.”
She stated that the town’s officials rode motorbikes around to inform residents of the typhoon’s progress and that only light rain and gusts of wind had been experienced in Ivana.
Cataluna continued by saying that she secured her avocados to the trees with sack fabric in case of a windstorm.
By Wednesday, the typhoon was expected to have moved northeast towards southern Japan from its current position around 217 miles east of the capital of Batanes, Basco. Taiwan was still expected to experience strong winds, and authorities in the Philippines stressed the importance of not becoming complacent. They reiterated that the dangers of dangerous tidal surges, flash floods, landslides, and typhoon-intensified monsoon rains would persist until Mawar had completely dissipated.
According to the Office of Civil Defense, more than 3,400 locals stayed in emergency shelters throughout northern regions, flights to and from Batanes were still grounded, and schools in more than 250 towns were closed.
On Monday, strong winds swept into the neighboring region of Cagayan, triggering the collapse of an empty dock warehouse and forcing additional locals to seek shelter in evacuation centers.
Last week, the powerful Typhoon Mawar tore over Guam, the U.S. Pacific island, overturning vehicles, ripping roofs, and cutting off electricity.
Residents are urged to remain vigilant and follow safety guidelines. Stay informed through reliable local news and official updates.
The government is actively working towards recovering from the devastating cyclone situation. Efforts are being made to provide relief and support to affected areas. Rehabilitation initiatives, infrastructure restoration, and community assistance are being prioritized to ensure a swift recovery from the aftermath of the cyclone.