MANILA -- Rains were expected over large swaths of Luzon and the Visayas on Tuesday due to the "habagat" or southwest monsoon and Typhoon Gardo, which drifted off the country's northern tip, officials said.
Classes were suspended in several cities and towns in Metro Manila, Batangas Occidental Mindoro, Rizal and Bulacan as authorities anticipated the rains, which will peak on Wednesday and will last until Friday.
At 3 a.m., Gardo was 760 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 170 kilometers per hour and 210 kph gusts, said PAGASA meteorologist Ezra Bulquerin.
The monsoon or habagat will dump occasional rains that may trigger floods and landslides in Metro Manila, Palawan, Mindoro, Romblon, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Cavite, Batangas and Bataan, he said.
The rest of Luzon and Western Visayas will experience cloudy skies with scattered rains and thunderstorms, also due to the habagat, Bulquerin told radio DZMM.
Gardo will leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning if it continues moving at 30 kph, he added.
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