"Karen" has intensified into a typhoon as it moves over the East Philippine Sea, the weather bureau said Thursday, while noting that the low pressure area spotted near Zambales Wednesday has dissipated.
Karen now has maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 150 kph, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomic Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its 11 a.m. update.
It has been spotted 760 kilometers east of Infanta, Quezon as of 10 a.m. Thursday and is forecast to move northwest at 13 kph, Pagasa added.
Karen is expected to be at 600 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City by Friday morning and 420 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes by Saturday morning.
Although not expected to make landfall, the typhoon is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon that will bring rains over the western sections of Visayas and Mindanao.
"Fishing boats and other small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the eastern seaboard of Central and Southern Luzon, eastern seabord of Visayas and Mindanao due to strong winds generated by Typhoon 'Karen,'" Pagasa added.
The typhoon is seen to exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday morning.
Meanwhile, Pagasa said Metro Manila is expected to be partly cloudy throughout Thursday, with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms.
Occasional light to moderate rains have also been forecast over Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol Region and the Visayas.
"The rest of the country will have partly cloudy skies with brief rainshowers or thunderstorms," Pagasa said.
A magnitude 4.4 earthquake struck Quezon province at around 7 p.m. Wednesday, with shocks felt in many cities in Metro Manila. …