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Signal 1 hoisted over Batanes

Tropical cyclone Signal No. 1 was hoisted over Batanes and Babuyan group of islands on Sunday as typhoon “Helen” (international name “Megi”) threatens the extreme Northern Luzon.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) located the eye of the typhoon at 1,025 kilometers (km) east of Calayan in Cagayan around 12 noon on Sunday.

A stronger Helen with maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 175 kph is forecast to move west-northwest at 22 kph.

The typhoon is expected to move near Batanes area by Monday morning and will be near Taiwan by Tuesday morning, according to PAGASA weather forecaster Aldczar Aurelio.

Batanes is still reeling from the effects of typhoon Ferdie (Meranti), one of the most intense tropical cyclones to make landfall this year, after crossing the northernmost islands of the Philippines on September 14.

On Sunday, Batanes and Babuyan group of islands were once again placed under tropical cyclone Signal No. 1 due to moderate to heavy rains brought about by typhoon Helen.

If it continues to move west-northwest at its current speed of 22 kph, Helen will be outside the country’s area of responsibility by Tuesday.

PAGASA said cloudy skies with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms will be experienced over Metro Manila, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Masbate, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales, Visayas and Mindanao. (ELLALYN B. DE VERA)