By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
Typhoon “Gardo” (international name “Maria”) has re-intensified on Tuesday afternoon as it makes its way outside the country’s area of responsibility by Wednesday.
Gardo reached its maximum strength of 200 kilometers per hour (kph) sustained winds and 245 kph of gusts on Monday noon before gradually weakening from Monday afternoon until Tuesday noon.
From a maximum sustained winds of 170 kph and gustiness of up to 210 kph on Tuesday noon, Gardo re-intensified with maximum winds of 180 kph and gusts of up to 245 kph around 3 p.m.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the location of the typhoon at 585 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes on Tuesday afternoon.
According to PAGASA weather specialist Aldczar Aurelio, Gardo will be outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Wednesday but will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat.
The typhoon is currently moving west-northwest at 30 kph.
Monsoon rains will prevail over Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, northern Palawan and Romblon.
Aurelio said the LPA near Vietnam is also enhancing the habagat causing rains to concentrate over these areas.
Occasional rains will prevail over Metro Manila, Western Visayas, and the rest of Central Luzon, and of southern Luzon until Wesneaday.
Residents of these areas, especially those living in low-lying and mountainous areas, are advised to take appropriate actions against possible flooding and landslides resulting from heavy rains.
Meanwhile, sea travel remains risky over the northern and eastern seaboards of Northern Luzon.
PAGASA is also monitoring a cluster of clouds east of Mindanao, which has a chance of becoming a low pressure area (LPA).
The cloud cluster is still outside the PAR but will likely move west and enter the country, and contribute to the enhancement of the southwest monsoon. The habagat will continue to affect Luzon and Visayas over the weekend, Aurelio said.
He added that the cluster of clouds could further develop into a cyclone towards the end of the week.