Typhoon ‘Helen’ heads towards Batanes-Taiwan area

Typhoon ‘Helen’ heads towards Batanes-Taiwan area

MANILA – Typhoon ‘Helen’ (international name ‘Megi’) maintained its strength as it continues to move towards the Batanes-Taiwan area, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its Monday afternoon update for the tropical cyclone.

PAGASA located ‘Helen’ at some 415 kilometers east-northeast of Basco, Batanes province as of 4 p.m. Monday.

‘Helen’ packed maximum sustained winds of up to 150 kilometers per hour near its center and gustiness of up to 185 kph, PAGASA said. It forecast ‘Helen’ to move west-northwest at 20 kph.

The agency expects ‘Helen’ to be 325 km north of Basco by Tuesday morning and outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) by Wednesday afternoon or at 705 km northwest of Basco.

Tropical cyclone warning signal No. 2 is over Batanes where 61 kph to 120 kph winds are expected, noted PAGASA.

Waves in open seas bordering areas under signal 2 can reach 4.1 meters to 14 meters high and storm surge is possible there, it said.

PAGASA also said signal No. 1 is over Cagayan province’s northern areas, including Babuyan Islands, as 30 kph to 60 kph winds are expected there.

Strong to gale-force winds from 52 kph to 68 kph are expected to affect Northern Luzon’s northern and eastern seaboards, PAGASA further warned in its gale warning on Monday afternoon.

Seas there will be rough to very rough with waves reaching up to 5.0 meters, noted PAGASA.

“Fishing boats and other small sea craft are advised not to venture out into sea,” the agency said.

Larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves, it added.

“Stormy weather will be experienced over Batanes Group of islands,” PAGASA likewise said in its 24-hour forecast also released Monday afternoon.

Rains with gusty winds are expected over Northern Cagayan, including Babuyan group of islands, PAGASA continued.

“Cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms will be experienced over MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula and the provinces of Batangas, Quezon and the rest of Cagayan,” PAGASA said.

It expects partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms over the rest of the country.

“Moderate to strong winds blowing from the northwest to southwest will prevail over Luzon and Visayas,” the weather agency likewise reported.

According to PAGASA, coastal waters along such areas will be moderate to rough while elsewhere, winds will be “light to moderate coming from the south to southwest with slight to moderate seas.” Catherine Teves/PNA/northboundasia.com