MANILA, Philippines - Public storm warning signal number two was raised over two provinces in Mindanao on Monday morning as typhoon "Pablo" (international name Bopha), which US meteorologists had categorized as a super typhoon, hovered closer over the province of Surigao del Sur.
In a weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the center of the typhoon was estimated at 700 kilometers southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
It slightly weakened, packing maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 210 kph. The typhoon was moving west northwest at 24 kph.
The typhoon's forecast strength on Monday night when it entered the Philippine area of responsibility was 185 kph and gusts of up to 220 kph.
Public storm warning signal No. 2 (61-100 kph winds) was raised over Surigao del Sur and the northern part of Davao Oriental.
Signal No. 1 (30-60 kph winds) was declared over Siquijor, Bohol, Biliran, Camotes Island, Southern Leyte, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Western Samar, Surigao del Norte, Siargao Island, Dinagat Island, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, rest of Davao Oriental, Davaol del Norte including Samal Island, Compostela Valley, Bukidnon, Misamis Occidental, Misamis oriental, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur.
Th weather bureau said that the typhoon will continue to hover the waters off Surigao del Sur on Tuesday morning and then move closer to Iloilo City in Visayas on Wednesday morning and over the waters of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan by Thursday morning.
"Estimated rainfall amount is from 20- 30 mm per hour (heavy -intense) within the 600 km diameter of the typhoon," PAGASA said.
The weather bureau warned residents living in low lying and mountainous areas under public storm warning signal no. 2 and 1 of possible flashfloods and landslides.
"Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out into the eastern seaboards of Visayas and Mindanao," PAGASA said.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) placed all its units nationwide on red alert due to typhoon Pablo. Under red alert status, all units nationwide of the agency are placed on standby.
The NDRRMC said that its units in areas placed under storm warning signals have been advised to take precautionary measures and initiate pre-emptive evacuation of families in low-lying areas "if situation warrants."