MANILA, Philippines – “Pablo” regained its typhoon strength as it moved over water and towards the western border of the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), the state weather bureau said on Thursday.
PAGASA earlier downgraded Pablo into a tropical storm, but it gained strength as it headed out of PAR and is now carrying winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) and gust winds of 150 kph.
PAGASA weather forecaster Robert Sawi said Pablo, which was seen moving west northwest at 7 kph, is being slowed down by two high-pressure areas.
“We are expecting na may kabagalan ito dahil na-sandwich siya sa dalawang high-pressure area kaya parang hindi gumagalaw,” he said in a press briefing.
As of 4 p.m., the typhoon was spotted 400 kilometers west of Coron, Palawan.
The typhoon first made landfall in Baganga, Davao Oriental Tuesday morning, bringing maximum winds of 175 kph and gusts of 210 kph.
The typhoon caused massive damage in Davao Oriental, leaving more than a hundred dead. Baganga, Cateel and Boston remain isolated.
It continued its path over Siquijor, Dumaguete City, and Roxas, Palawan, before moving towards the West Philippine Sea.
PAGASA said the following provinces were affected by the typhoon:
• Davao Oriental
• Compostela Valley
• Agusan del Sur
• Davao del Norte
• Misamis Oriental
• Southern Negros
All public storm signals have been lifted.
PAGASA said the typhoon may weaken by Saturday due to the northwest monsoon and may eventually dissipate.
However, the enhanced monsoon may bring frequent rains to Northern Luzon.
Scattered rains and thunderstorms should also be expected over Mindanao, but PAGASA said it will not hamper rescue and retrieval efforts in the area.
The typhoon left nearly 500 people dead and thousands homeless.