Philippines faces twin storms

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SUPER Typhoon Hinnamnor was set to enter the Philippines’ jurisdiction on Wednesday night or early Thursday morning, the state weather bureau said. 

Hinnamnor, which will be named Henry in the Philippines, kept its strength while moving over the sea, senior weather specialist Raymond Ordinario told a news briefing. “It will have a direct effect once it enters the Philippine area of responsibility.”  

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said tropical cyclone wind signal No. 3 could be raised in Batanes, Calayan and Babuyan Islands when Hinnamnor, which had maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 240 kph, enters the country and gets closer to extreme northern Luzon. 

Hinnamnor’s movement would depend on two high-pressure areas, which could slow its track in the northern part of the Philippines, Mr. Ordinario said. “Our crucial day is on Friday and weekend.” 

The super typhoon is forecast to slow while moving west-southwestward or southwestward over the sea southeast of the Ryukyu Islands, according to PAGASA.  

It could become almost stationary by late Thursday through Friday and could be downgraded to a typhoon category by Friday. 

“This tropical cyclone may enhance the southwest monsoon and bring monsoon rains over the western section of Luzon beginning Friday,” it added. 

Parts of the Ilocos and Cordillera regions in northern Philippines and the Central Luzon region are expected to experience moderate to occasionally heavy rains by Thursday, PAGASA weather services chief Juanito Galang said.  

Meanwhile, Mr. Ordinario said tropical depression Gardo had brought rains over parts of Luzon and the Visayas. 

The tropical depression was spotted 1,065 kilometers east of Extreme Northern Luzon, packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center and up to 70 kph gusts, he said.  

“The tropical depression is unlikely to directly affect the sea conditions over the coastal waters of the country,” PAGASA said in a bulletin.  

“Gardo will degenerate into a remnant low tonight or tomorrow early morning as Hinnamnor begins to assimilate its circulation.” 

Hinnamnor could merge with Gardo, Mr. Ordinario told CNN Philippines. — Kyle Aristophere T. Atienza