'Ineng' maintains strength; 9 areas under storm signals

TYPHOON Ineng (Goni) continues to move toward extreme Northern Luzon while maintaining its strength, prompting the state weather bureau to raise storm signals over at least nine areas in the country Wednesday afternoon.

The Batanes Group of Islands and Cagayan, including Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands, were placed under Public Storm Warning Signal Number 2, while Isabela, Kalinga, Apayao, Abra and Ilocos Norte were placed under signal number 1.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that Typhoon Ineng was located at 690 kilometers east of Calayan, Cagayan as of 4 p.m. Wednesday, August 19.

The typhoon maintained its strength with sustained winds of 180 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 215 kph. Pagasa forecast it to move west at 20 kph.

Pagasa said that Ineng will bring moderate to heavy rains in areas within its 600 kilometers diameter and it will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon or "hanging habagat," which is currently affecting Palawan and Visayas.

"Occasional rains over the western section of Luzon including Metro Manila are possible beginning Thursday until early next week," said Pagasa in its 5 p.m. Wednesday advisory.

It also warned fisherfolk and the public against venturing out into the sea, as "sea travel is risky over the eastern seaboard of Luzon and seaboards of Northern and Eastern Samar."

Pagasa said the typhoon is expected to be out of the Philippine area of responsibility by Monday afternoon, August 24, but on Thursday (August 20), it will be at 185 kilometers east northeast of Calayan, Cagayan.

On Friday afternoon, the typhoon will be at the vicinity of Basco, Batanes, 195 kilometers north of the same area by Saturday afternoon, and 450 kilometers north by Sunday afternoon, added Pagasa. (LMY/Sunnex)

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