‘Helen’ exits Philippines, but Luzon still expects rains-A A +A
Thursday, August 16, 2012
MANILA (Updated 8:12 a.m.) -- Tropical Storm Helen (international codename: Kai-Tak) left the Philippine territory Thursday morning, but parts of the country will still experience rains due to the southwest monsoon, the weather bureau said.
Weather forecaster Bernie De Leon said “Helen” has accelerated further as it moves away from the country towards southern China.
“Before 3 a.m., lumakas at lumabas na ito ng bansa patungong southern China. So far, wala tayong nakikitang low pressure area na papasok pero may namomonitor mga kaulapan sa labas ng PAR (it gained strength and left the country heading towards southern China. So far, we haven’t spotted any low pressure area in the country, but we monitored cloudy skies outside the Philippine area of responsibility),” De Leon said.
He said the weather is expected to improve over the weekend but it will still be rainy in Luzon, including Metro Manila and Western Visayas, as the southwest monsoon continues to affect these areas.
“Inaasahan natin mag-improve ang ating weather then may mararanasan pa rin tayong pag-ulan dulot ng habagat, pero hindi na kasing dalas, lakas at lawak ng pag-ulan sa kasagsagan ni ‘Helen’ sa ngayong araw na ito at sa mga susunod pang araw (We are expecting improved weather, but we still expect rains although not as heavy as we experienced during ‘Helen’),” he added.
Meanwhile, the number of deaths caused by floods and heavy rains brought by Tropical Storm Helen rose to seven from two on Wednesday morning, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said.
The NDRRMC identified the two latest fatalities who died due to landslide as Jonophe Pandosen, 50, and Ekmer Domines, 42, both residents of Baguio City.
The five other fatalities were identified as Fernando Dingayon, 49, of sitio Hiltop, Talifugo, Conner in Apayo, victim of a falling tree; Savino Masangcay Mosquite, 44, of Barangay Lioac, Naguillan in La Union, who died due to electrocution; Princess Nathalic Jamon, one-year-old, of Barangay San Pedro, Paoay, Ilocos Norte, who died due to drowning; Armando Valde Borbon, 37, an epileptic who slipped in a flooded rice field in sitio Pinalapa, Dumpay, Basista in Pangasinan; and Andrew Mariano Batara, 47, a village watchman of Madamba, Dingras, Ilocos Norte, who drowned while swimming.
As of 4 a.m. Thursday, Pagasa said “Helen” was estimated based on satellite and surface data at 290 kilometers west northwest of Laoag City.
“Helen” maintained its strength at 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center with gustiness of up to 100 kph. It picked up speed and is now traveling west northwest at 24 kph.
All public storm signals have now been lowered, Pagasa said.
The rainfall advisory over Metro Manila has also been terminated but light to moderate rains could still be expected in the coming hours, the weather agency said.
In its advisory, Pagasa said the western section of Luzon will experience occasional to frequent rains that may trigger flash floods and landslides, while the rest of Luzon and Western Visayas will have mostly cloudy skies with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms.
The rest of the country will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.
Moderate to strong winds blowing from the southwest will prevail over Luzon and Western Visayas and its coastal waters will be moderate to rough.
Elsewhere, winds will be light to moderate coming from the south to southwest with slight to moderate seas.
Pagasa also said a strong to gale force wind is expected to affect the seaboards of Luzon and Western Visayas.
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/Sunnex)