Super Typhoon weakens, on way out of Philippines

MANILA, Philippines - Super Typhoon "Yolanda" (International name Haiyan) has weakened and slowed Friday night after barrelling across several provinces in Visayas, the state weather bureau said.

"At 10 pm today (Friday), the eye of Typhoon "Yolanda" was located based on all available data including Tagaytay Doppler Radar at 30 km West of Coron, Palawan," the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said in its weather bulletin 11 pm Friday.

Its maximum sustained winds weakened to 195 kph near the centre with gustiness of up to 230 kph, it said.

Yolanda was moving slower at 35 kph continuing in a west northwest direction towards the open waters of the West Philippine Sea and eventually towards Vietnam.

Because of its slower speed, Yolanda is estimated to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Saturday 2 pm instead of the earlier estimate of 10 am.

Signal number 4 remains over Extreme Northern Palawan including Calamian Group of Islands while signal number 3 is still up over the rest of Northern Palawan including Puerto Princesa City and Occidental Mindoro.

Signal number 2 is still raised in Oriental Mindoro, Lubang Island, Romblon, Cuyo Island, Aklan, Antique, Iloilo, and Capiz, Pagasa said. The areas of Masbate, Marinduque, Batangas, Burias Island, Negros Provinces, Guimaras, and Cebu remain under signal number 1.

Earlier in the day, the 600 km wide Yolanda claimed three lives and injured seven others. Power lines and cell sites were toppled causing black outs and loss of communications.

Relief operations have been launched in the areas that were directly hit by Yolanda including Samar, Leyte, Cebu, Bohol, Iloilo, among others.