Storm warning signal up over 14 Luzon areas-A A +A
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
MANILA (Updated) -- Fourteen areas in Luzon are now under public storm warning, including the provinces of Isabela and Cagayan at storm signal number 2, as Tropical Storm "Helen" (international name: Kai-Tak) maintained its strength, threatening the country’s northern part.
The state weather bureau has placed on Monday night 12 Luzon areas -- Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Vizcaya, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Ilocos Norte, Abra, Kalinga, Apayao, Babuyan Group of Islands, Calayan Group of Islands and the Batanes Group of Islands -- under storm signal number 1.
According to Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration's (Pagasa) 11 p.m. weather bulletin, Helen was located 350 kilometer (km) east of Casiguran, Aurora as of 10 p.m. Monday.
It has maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometer per hour (kph) near its center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.
Pagasa alerts residents living in low-lying and mountainous areas under public storm signal against possible flashfloods.
People living in coastal areas under public storm signal number 2 are likewise alerted against big waves or storm surges generated by Helen, the Pagasa said.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) is now on "red alert" status due to the weather disturbance. The Council has also directed DRRMC in all regions in the country to undertake precautionary measures in their respective areas of responsibilities.
No casualties or injuries were reported due to Tropical Storm Helen as of this posting Monday.
Helen moves west at 15 kph and is expected to be 120 kms east of Tuguegarao, Cagayan by Tueday afternoon, 160 km north of Laoag City or 170 km west southwest of Basco, Batanes by Wednesday afternoon.
Estimated rainfall amount is from 15 - 35 millimeter (mm) per hour (heavy - torrential) within 400-km diameter of the storm.
Helen is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon that will bring rains over Luzon and Visayas, especially over the western part of the country.
Moderate rains (2.5-7.5 mm per hour) also hit on Monday night the provinces of Camarines, Quezon, Rizal, Bulacan, Pampanga, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Mindoro, Bataan, Zambales and Metro Manila, all in Luzon, the weather bureau reported.
Helen is dumping more rains in the flood-battered Luzon areas a week after nearly 100 people died in a monsoon deluge that submerged half of the country’s capital.
Rescuers evacuated flood-prone areas in the National Capital Region's suburban Quezon City; and Rosario town in Cavite province southwest of Manila closed schools because of downpours.
More than 400,000 people fled their homes last week when floods swamped Manila and nearby provinces. (AP/Sunnex)