RESIDENTS who evacuated at the start of the week returned home Wednesday as typhoon Mawar, locally named Betty, started to move faster northeastward towards the Ryukyu Islands in Japan.  

A total of 1,815 families across five regions were preemptively evacuated, according to the national disaster managements update as of May 31.   

Overall, typhoon Mawar affected 14,908 people or 3,821 families, displacing more than 1,300 individuals.  

Those affected were from 94 villages in Ilocos, Cagayan, Central Luzon, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).  

It said 806 out of the 1,379 people displaced by the typhoon are still staying in evacuation centers.   

The disaster agency said Betty has hit five houses in Ilocos, Central Luzon, and CAR two of which were totally destroyed.  

In the northern province of Cagayan, the 431 families who sought safety in evacuation centers have gone home, the provincial government announced on its Facebook page.   

The families were allowed to go home because the rain has ceased and the weather has turned fine,it said in Filipino.   

Nonetheless, monitoring is still ongoing and (emergency/response) equipment are still on standby,it added.  

There were no reported deaths or injuries, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.   

State weather agency PAGASA, in its 5 p.m. bulletin on Wednesday, said Mawar was located 410 kilometers (km) east-northeast of Itbayat in Batanes, the Philippinesnorthernmost islands.   

Typhoon Betty is forecast to gradually accelerate today through tomorrow while moving generally northward over the waters east of Batanes, although some wobbling in its movement (e.g., sudden turns to the north northeast or north northwest) is possiblein the next 12 hours, PAGASA said.   

PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar D. Aurelio said in press briefing Wednesday afternoon that Betty was still enhancing the southwest monsoon, bringing moderate to heavy rains in Mindoro provinces, northern part of Palawan, and Western Visayas. 

Betty is expected to weaken as it exits the Philippine area by Thursday evening or early Friday morning, it said.   

Outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility, the tropical cyclone will pass very close or make landfall in the vicinity of central Ryukyu Islands by mid-Friday (e.g., Okinawa Island),PAGASA said. with a report from Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza