MANILA - Typhoon Gardo (international name: Maria) has entered the Philippine area of responsibility, threatening Luzon and Visayas with rains, the state weather bureau said Monday.
At 4 a.m., Gardo was spotted 1,325 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 200 kilometers per hour and 245 kph gusts, said PAGASA.
The Joint Typhoon Warning Center in the Pacific classified Maria as a "super typhoon", while the Japan Meteorological Agency described it as a "violent" storm.
Gardo is unlikely to hit land, but may enhance the habagat or southwest monsoon, said PAGASA meteorologist Meno Mendoza.
It will dump rains over the regions of Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Metro Manila, Calabarzon and Bicol; and the provinces of Zambales, Bataan, and Aurora, he told radio DZMM.
Residents in the low-lying and mountainous parts of these areas should be on the lookout for possible floods and landslides, PAGASA added.
Mendoza warned the public against wading in flood waters, noting that parts of Metro Manila have declared an outbreak of leptospirosis, which may be contacted from floods contaminated with rodent urine.
The bad weather has forced the cancellation of classes in several areas.
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