MANILA (Updated 9:43 a.m.) – Typhoon Butchoy (international codename: Guchol) is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility Monday night, the weather bureau said.
At 4 a.m. Monday, the eye of Typhoon Butchoy was located based on satellite and surface data at 470 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, with maximum sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 22 kph. "Butchoy" is moving north at 22 kph.
Although the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the typhoon is blowing toward southern Japan after triggering heavy rains and minor landslides in the northern Philippines, heavy rains are still expected over Luzon due to the southwest monsoon.
Pagasa said Luzon will have occasional rains becoming frequent over the western sections of northern and central Luzon that may trigger flash floods and landslides. The rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms, Pagasa added.
Pagasa maintained fishing boats and other small sea crafts are advised not to venture out into the seaboards of Luzon and Visayas due to big waves.
Meanwhile, President Benigno Aquino III ordered Friday two government ships guarding a disputed South China Sea shoal back to port because of the bad weather, temporarily ending a two-month standoff with Chinese ships.
The government said it will have to “re-evaluate” whether to redeploy ships to the disputed Scarborough (Panatag) Shoal after the pullout Saturday due to the typhoon.
“As soon as the weather improves, there will be a re-evaluation on what the deployment will be,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a radio interview Sunday.
She maintained, however, that the pullout was made not because of China’s request but to ensure the safety of Filipino personnel deployed in the disputed area, which was affected by thick monsoon rains caused by the typhoon. (AP/Sunnex)