MANILA, Philippines - Tropical storm “Helen” (international name: Kai-Tak) is now over the vicinity of Aparri in Cagayan, the state weather bureau said on Wednesday.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) latest weather bulletin said Helen was located 40 kilometers south southeast of Aparri, packing maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 90 kph.
Helen continues to move in a west northwest direction at 13 kph.
PAGASA raised Storm signal no. 2 over Cagayan, Calayan Group of Islands, Babuyan Group of Islands, Isabela, Northern Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Ilocos Sur, Apayao, Kalinga, Ilocos Norte, Abra, and the Batanes Group of Islands.
Storm signal no. 1 is meanwhile up over the provinces of Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac, La Union, and the rest of Aurora.
Helen is forecast to be 250 km west northwest of Aparri by Thursday morning and 510 km northwest of Laoag City by Friday morning.
“Mamayang gabi inaasahan nating lalabas ng landmass sa Ilocos si Helen at maaring bukas ng umaga lalabas na siya ng Philippine Area of Responsibility,” weather forecaster Jory Lois said.
Those living in low-lying and mountainous areas under public storm warning signal no. 2 are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides, while residents in coastal areas are likewise urged to stay on alert for big waves or storm surges generated by the tropical storm.
PAGASA said Helen will continue to enhance the Southwest Monsoon that will bring rains over the rest of Luzon and Visayas particularly over the western section.
The rainfall amount is estimated from 20 to 35 mm per hour within the 500 km diameter of the storm.
Lois said Metro Manila will continue to experience moderate to heavy rains and occasional strong winds due to the southwest monsoon (habagat).
“Habagat pa din yan. Medyo lumalakas ang habagat ngayon habang nagko-cross itong si Helen dito sa may northern Luzon,” Lois said.
“Inaasahan pa natin hanggang Friday may habagat pa na mararanasan sa Metro Manila. Pero sa Saturday inaasahan nating gaganda na ang panahon,” he said. With a report from Dennis Datu, dzMM