The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said at 5am today that Typhoon Butchoy is gaining strength as it continues its north-west track towards the northern Philippines.
The typhoon is said be have maximum sustained wind speeds of 185kph, with gusts reaching 220kph.
Typhoon Butchoy (international name Nepartak) was last tracked on Tuesday morning at 1,010 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan.
Earlier this week forecasters said the typhoon would not make landfall – the weather system would enhance the southwest monsoon hanging over Southern Luzon and the Visayas.
The typhoon’s outer bands have brought heavy rains to Cebu, causing passenger boat suspensions between mainland Cebu and Mactan Island.
A weather spokesperson for Pagasa said that Mactan and Singson already recorded a record 250.9 millimeters of rain since July 1st, exceeding the normal average rainfall for the the region for the entire month – the average is 202 millimeters.
Pagasa also said that the typhoon would exit the Philippine national waters by Friday.
Typhoon Butchoy is the second typhoon to hit the Philippines this year.
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