TYPHOON VEERS, THREATENS BICOL REGION

Quezon City, April 18, 2003 -- Typhoon "Amang" changed direction as it 
neared the Philippines and is now threatening the Bicol-Samar area, the 
Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services 
Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday. Signal No. 1 has been raised over 
Catanduanes.

The typhoon, which had previously threatened Northern Luzon, changed its 
movement yesterday to a westward direction. It was moving at 13 kilometers 
per hour (kph) towards the Bicol-Samar area.

The typhoon's center winds had earlier been estimated at 165 kph but it 
weakened yesterday to 120 kph with gustiness of up to 150 kph upon 
interaction with a high pressure area near Taiwan.

Based on satellite and surface data, "Amang" was located at 1,020 
kilometers (kms) east of Daet in Camarines Norte. It was forecast to be 730 
kms east of Daet at noon today and 440 kms east of Daet by tomorrow. On 
Sunday, it is forecast to be close to the Bicol region, said the weather 
bureau.

Today, those in eastern Luzon and eastern Visayas will experience partly 
cloudy to cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms while 
the rest of the country will be partly cloudy with isolated rainshowers or 
thunderstorms. Winds will be moderate to occasionally strong in the Bicol 
region and eastern Visayas. Coastal waters of these areas will be moderate 
to rough.

Weather officials said they expect the typhoon to weaken further.
Catanduanes will experience rains and occasional gusty winds beginning 
tomorrow, Saturday, PAGASA said.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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