The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - Typhoon Butchoy largely spared the Philippines of the much-feared heavy rains as it started to exit late Sunday, at a slightly faster pace of 22 kph, toward Japan.
Meteorologists attributed the Philippines’s “good fortune” to the presence of a tropical depression off the seas of Vietnam, which sucked in much of the rains induced by the southwest monsoon that Butchoy had been affecting earlier.
Butchoy was expected to be some 500 kms east of Basco, Batanes by Monday morning, and near Okinawa, Japan by Tuesday. It has been classified as a supertyphoon by the US-based Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Earlier on Sunday, it maintained its strength and, still enhanced by the southwest monsoon, was expected to continue bringing rains, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.
Jor Loiz, weather forecaster, said that as of 4 a.m. Butchoy was spotted 450 km northeast of Virac, Catanduanes (16.5°N, 128.1°E) with maximum sustained winds of 160 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 195 kph.
Butchoy was expected to be out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Tuesday morning.
Until then, rain was expected over most parts of the country as the southwest monsoon continues to affect Luzon and the Visayas.
Pagasa said Butchoy moved north-northwest at 20 kph---slightly accelerating to 22 kph later Sunday--- and brought heavy rainfall, from 15 to 25 mm per hour, within its 450-km diameter.
The coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be moderate to rough.
Meanwhile, Pagasa said strong to gale-force winds associated with the surge of the southwest monsoon and Butchoy may still affect the seaboards of Luzon and the Visayas.
Fishermen avoid seas
Fishing boats and other small seacraft were advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves.
In Virac, Catanduanes, fishermen kept their boats safely moored, and expected they would return to sea only by Wednesday. The fishing villages said they had gotten adequate early warning and had stocked up on provisions.
Even while fishermen stayed cautious, however, some people took to water adventures, unfazed by the waves churned by strong winds. Some went swimming, others surfed. With reports from Joseph Holandes Ubalde and Zai Feniza, and from PNA