Karen strengthens into tropical storm as it nears Bicol
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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Karen intensified into a tropical storm on Thursday night, October 13, as it continued to head for the Bicol Region. Its international name is Sarika.
In its bulletin issued 11 pm on Thursday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Karen is 430 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes, still moving west northwest at 13 kilometers per hour (km/h).
It now has maximum winds of up to 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h.
Signal number 1 is raised in Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, and Albay. The rest of Bicol could also be placed under a tropical cyclone warning signal on Friday, October 14.
Moderate to heavy rain is expected within the 300-km diameter of the tropical storm.
Karen is expected to strengthen further into a severe tropical storm and then into a typhoon. PAGASA is expected to release more specific details on Karen's path in its succeeding bulletins.
For now, the state weather bureau said fishermen and those in small sea vessels are advised not to set sail in the eastern seaboard of Bicol and in the northern and eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas.
Karen is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Monday, October 17.