Dark clouds in the coastal town of Gonzaga in Cagayan province on Sunday morning. — CAGAYAN PIO

TYPHOON Mawar started to bring wind and rain in northern parts of the Philippines Sunday morning and is expected to affect up to the central-western portions of the country until Wednesday, the state weather agency said.  

Locally named Betty, the typhoon was located 715 kilometers (kms) east of Tuguegarao City in Cagayan province as of 10 a.m. Sunday, based on the 11 a.m. bulletin released by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).  

It was moving slowly at 15 kilometers per hour (km/h) with maximum sustained winds of 175 km/h near the center, gustiness of up to 215 km/h.  

Strong to typhoon-force winds extend outwards up to 740 km from the center,PAGASA said.    

Typhoon signal No. 1, the lowest in a five-level system, was up over parts of the northern regions of Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, and Central Luzon.   

Wind Signal No. 2 remains the most likely highest wind signal that will be hoisted, while Wind Signal No. 3 remains the reasonable worst-case scenario,according to PAGASAs forecast.   

Classes on Monday have been suspended in most local governments that will be affected by Betty, which is also expected to strengthen the prevailing southwest monsoons and trigger heavy rains.     

Emergency response teams, including security forces and the Philippine Coast Guard, have been on full alert and undertaking preparedness measures since Thursday, according to the national disaster management council.   

The typhoon will likely become slow-moving to almost stationary by Tuesday while over the waters east of Batanes. It will then move northward or north northeastward by mid Wednesday or Thursday towards the sea east of Taiwan,PAGASA said.