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Mawar re-intensified into super typhoon —PAGASA

Typhoon Mawar has re-intensified into super typhoon category early Thursday morning, according to state weather bureau PAGASA.

Interviewed on Unang Balita, PAGASA weather specialist Benison Estareja said Mawar regained its strength of 185 kilometers per hour (kph) and is expected to further intensify in the coming days.

“Kanina madaling araw po ay lumakas po muli ito into a super typhoon, bumalik muli sa 185 kilometers per hour [Early this morning, Mawar again intensified into a super typhoon as it returned to its 185 kph strength],” he said.

“In the coming days po inaasahan natin na lalakas pa ito habang tumatawid po siya doon sa karagatan [We expect it to strengthen further in the coming days],” he added.

Mawar may reach up to 215 kph by Saturday, according to Estareja.

While the center of Mawar is not expected to touch the land area of the country, Estareja said the super typhoon would enhance the southwest monsoon or Habagat.

Habagat is expected over southern Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao particularly in Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Zamboanga, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao on Friday and the entire weekend.

Southwest monsoon enhancement is also expected in western section of Luzon and Visayas on Sunday until the middle of the week.

Mawar, which is moving west northwest, is expected to enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday evening or early Saturday morning. It will be called Betty once it enters PAR.

As of 10 p.m. on Wednesday, PAGASA said Mawar is located at 2,205 km east of southeastern Luzon.

Mawar was a Category 4 typhoon when it hit Guam on Thursday, packing winds of up to 140 miles per hour (225 kph) and torrential rain.

Guam Governor Lou Leon Guerrero  told National Public Radio during an interview on Wednesday that Mawar damaged houses and forced the rescue of eight people.

In the Philippines, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said Wednesday that preemptive evacuations are expected to be imposed in the coastal towns of Batanes and some parts of Cagayan as Mawar gets closer to the country.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), for its part, said it has positioned food packs in areas expected to be hit by Mawar.

Several other government offices have started preparations for the super typhoon, including the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines and the Department of the Interior and Local Government—KBK, GMA Integrated News