'Carina' now a severe tropical storm


Posted at Jul 31 2016 12:44 PM | Updated as of Jul 31 2016 04:03 PM

Storm expected to make landfall in N. Cagayan

MANILA - "Carina" (international name: Nida) has intensified into a severe tropical storm, hours before its expected landfall on Sunday afternoon, state weather bureau PAGASA said.

The storm was packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kph near the center and gusts of up to 120 kph, PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio announced in an 11 a.m. press briefing.

Aurelio said Carina was last spotted 160 kilometers east southeast of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan.

If the storm continues to move at northwest at 20 kph, it will make landfall in Northern Cagayan on Sunday afternoon.

Moderate to heavy rains are seen within the storm's 500-kilometer Aurelio added.

Public storm warning signal number 2 remained hoisted over Isabela, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Apayao, Mt. Province, Ifugao, Kalinga, Abra and Cagayan including Babuyan Group of Islands.

Residents in the coastal areas of these provinces were warned against possible storm surges.

Signal number 1, meanwhile, was raised over Batanes Group of Islands, Benguet, La Union, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija and Aurora.

All areas with storm signals were advised to be on alert for flashfloods and landslides.

Fishing boats and other small sea craft were prohibited against venturing off the northern and eastern seaboards of Luzon.

Carina is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) through Ilocos Norte by Monday morning.

But Aurelio said Carina may still enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat after it exits PAR.

Moderate monsoon rains will dampen the western section of Luzon and Visayas until Tuesday evening.