MANILA — Severe tropical storm Betty left the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Thursday afternoon and would continue to enhance the habagat, PAGASA said.
Betty, which entered PAR as a super typhoon, was last spotted 685 kilometers northeast of Itbayat, Batanes (outside PAR) at 4 p.m., packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour and 115 kph gusts, the state weather forecaster said.
In the next 24 hours, Betty is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat which will bring occasional to frequent wind gusts over northern Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Bicol Region, MIMAROPA, Western Visayas, and Northern Samar, according to PAGASA's 5p.m. advisory.
The severe tropical storm is also expected to steadily weaken throughout the forecast period due to lower sea surface temperature of the sea surrounding the Ryukyu Islands.
In the next 3 days, Betty is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat, which will become "the dominant rain-causing system in the country", PAGASA said in its 11 a.m. advisory.
The habagat will dump 50 to 100 mm or heavy rains over La Union, Benguet, Occidental Mindoro, Romblon, Aklan, Antique, and northern Palawan until Friday morning, PAGASA said.
Floods and landslides are possible, especially in areas which experienced in the past several days, it warned
While Betty did not directly hit the Philippines, it affected some 8,200 families or 30,500 people, of whom 293 families or 1,039 people stayed in evacuation centers, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.
Twenty-three houses in the Cordillera region, Central Luzon and Western Visayas were damaged, while cost of damage to infrastructure in the Cordilleras was estimated at nearly P68,700, the NDRRMC said in its 8 a.m. report.
One person was injured by a fallen tree in Kabayan, Benguet.
In Antique, a bridge connecting Bugasong and Laua-an towns collapsed due to heavy rains on Wednesday, Governor Rhodora Cadiao said.
Eto na naman ang problema ng mga Antiqueño. Paano naman ‘yung mga may sakit? Magbabangka na naman kami,” Cadiao said.
(This will become a problem again for Antiqueños. How about the sickly? We will need to ride boats again to go across the river.)
The Paliwan bridge also collapsed during the onslaught of typhoon Paeng in October last year.
Cadiao urged the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) to build a new structure in its place instead of retrofitting the 48-year-old bridge.
Around 20 tropical cyclones hit the Philippines every year. Betty is the second storm to enter the country this year.
For more updates, visit the ABS-CBN weather center.
— With Milgrace Dueñas and Ina Salazar, ABS-CBN News Interns