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‘Ferdie’ gains strength

Typhoon “Ferdie” (international name “Meranti”) has further picked up strength before reaching the islands of extreme Northern Luzon, bringing heavy rains and strong winds which according to the weather bureau could trigger floods and landslides in areas north of Luzon.

As of Tuesday noon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the location of typhoon Ferdie at 285 kilometers (km) east-southeast of Basco, Batanes.

It further intensified packing maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour (kph) near the eye of the typhoon and gustiness of up to 250 kph, prompting the PAGASA to raise tropical cyclone signal number 4 over Batanes group of islands and signal number 3 over Babuyan group of islands before Tuesday noon.

Signal number 2 was hoisted over Ilocos Norte, Apayao and northern Cagayan, while Signal number 1 was raised over the rest of Cagayan, northern Isabela, Kalinga, Abra and northern Ilocos Sur. (Ellalyn B. De Vera)