Storm intensifies before entry to Philippine area

A TROPICAL depression set to enter the Philippine area of responsibility had intensified into a tropical storm and would be called Inday, according to the state weather bureau.

The storm, which was expected to enter the Philippines on Wednesday evening, was expected to intensify further into a typhoon while moving northwest over the Philippine Sea, it added.

The cyclone was not forecast to hit land, the agency said in an 11 a.m. bulletin.

The storm was spotted 1,445 kilometers east of Northern Luzon, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and up to 80 kph gusts.

The agency said the cyclone might cause moderate to rough seas over the seaboards of extreme Northern Luzon during at weekend. “Such a condition may be risky for those using small seacraft. Mariners are advised to continue monitoring for updates.”

Meanwhile, more than 2,000 people from about 700 families were affected by Typhoon Henry, the local disaster agency said in a report. Most of the victims were in the Ilocos, Central Luzon and Cordillera regions.

Only one evacuation facility remained active, giving refuge to five families, it said.

Authorities were still validating reports of one death in the Ilocos region. Damage from the typhoon has hit P61.37 million in the Cordillera Administrative Region alone. — K.A.T. Atienza