MANILA - Tropical storm "Isang" (international name: Hato) maintained its strength, on course to graze the country's northern tip, and enhancing monsoon rains over large portions of the country, the state weather bureau said Monday.
Tropical storm signal no. 2 (60 to 120 kilometer per hour winds) was raised over the Batanes islands, where storm surges could hit coastal areas, PAGASA said. Signal no. 1 (30 kph to 60 kph winds) was raised over the Babuyan Islands.
"Isang" will enhance the Southwest Monsoon, bringing light to moderate rains to Metro Manila, the Visayas and the Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Central Luzon and Bicol regions, PAGASA said.
At 5 a.m., "Isang" was spotted 330 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds of up to 65 kph near the center and gusts of up to 80 kph, PAGASA meteorologist Meno Mendoza told radio DZMM.
If the storm continues moving west northwest at 17 kph, it is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Tuesday, he added.
"Isang" is the 9th storm to enter the Philippines this year. The country, on average, is hit by 20 typhoons and tropical storms annually.