Monsoon rains still expected; new LPA to form Monday

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Friday, August 10, 2012

MANILA (2nd Update, 11:34 a.m.) -- The weather bureau said Friday that the southwest monsoon continues to affect Northern and Central Luzon, with rainshowers likely to fall over Metro Manila during the weekend.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) forecaster Ricky Fabregas also said they are monitoring another potential cyclone - a low pressure area (LPA) that could again enhance the southwest monsoon.

He said the LPA may enter the Philippine territory as early as Monday.

“The LPA is still in the far east of the Philippines, we’re expecting it by Monday or Tuesday. This has a chance to become a tropical cyclone because this is still at sea,” Pagasa weather forecaster Raymond Ordinario said in Filipino.

He said that once it becomes a cyclone and enters the Philippine area of responsibility, it will be locally named “Helen,” the eighth weather disturbance to enter the country this year.

Ordinario also said they are not discounting the possibility that the LPA may again enhance the southwest monsoon and cause heavy rain.

The death toll from incessant rains this week went up to 60, while seven people remained missing as of Friday morning, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said in an update. Most of the casualties died of drowning.

Nearly 78,000 families representing 362,000 people are still in hundreds of evacuation centers in Manila and outlying provinces. Overall, the inclement weather affected 539,838 families or 2,442,135 people in 1,849 villages in 144 towns and 31 cities in 16 provinces.

As the weather improved Thursday, residents began fixing disheveled homes and stores in flood-hit communities that resembled a wasteland littered with mud-caked garbage.

In a bulletin, Pagasa said Northern and Central Luzon will experience cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorm becoming cloudy with widespread rains over the western section that may trigger flash floods and landslides.

The rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms, it said.

Moderate to strong winds blowing from the southwest will prevail over Luzon and the coastal waters along these areas will be moderate to rough.

Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the south to southwest with slight to moderate seas.

The weather agency also issued gale warning as strong to gale force wind is expected to affect the northern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon and the western seaboard of Central Luzon.

Fishing boats and other small sea crafts are advised not to venture out into the sea, while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves, it said. (PNA/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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