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Pepeng weakens but hovers over N. Luzon - INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos


‘Pepeng’ weakens but hovers over N. Luzon

By Nikko Dizon
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 14:01:00 10/05/2009

Filed Under: Flood, Pepeng, Weather
MANILA, Philippines—Typhoon "Pepeng" has weakened to a tropical storm but remains stationary over parts of Northern Luzon, the state weather bureau said Monday.
At 10 a.m. Monday, storm "Pepeng" was estimated to be at 230 kilometers northwest of Laoag City, packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 120 kph.
Pagasa has lowered the storm signal in Ilocos Norte to Signal No. 2 from Sunday's signal No. 3.
Signal No. 1 was hoisted over Ilocos Sur, Abra, Apayao, Batanes Group, and Northern Cagayan including Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands.
Despite this whiff of good news, Pagasa officials still urge public officials and residents in the affected areas not to lower their guard.
"Stormy weather will continue to prevail in the next three days," Nathaniel Cruz, deputy administrator for operations and services of the Philippine Astronomical Services (Pagasa), said at a press conference.
Cruz noted that from Monday morning, Laoag City has already registered 403 millimeters of rainfall while Vigan City in Ilocos Sur has had 417 millimeters of rainfall.
This was about the same volume of water unleashed by tropical storm Ondoy (international name: Ketsana) that submerged 80 percent of Manila a week earlier and killed nearly 300 people.
Even if there would be less rainfall in the coming days, the amount of rain that could be accumulated "is one of the hazardous effects of a storm not leaving," said Cruz.
Two weather systems, a high pressure area in the northwest of Northern Luzon as well as the Typhoon "Melor" that is heading towards the Philippine area of responsibility are affecting the track of "Pepeng," Cruz said.
Pagasa expected Typhoon "Melor" to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by noon on Monday.
To be known as Typhoon "Quedan" by the time it enters the PAR, the weather disturbance could pull back "Pepeng" to the provinces it ravaged over the weekend before they both leave the PAR.
The high pressure area spotted near Hong Kong, in the northwest of Northern Luzon, could also steer "Pepeng" away from the country and head for Vietnam, said Robert Sawi, Pagasa senior weather forecaster.
"By this afternoon, we will have two weather disturbances in the Philippine area of responsibility, Pepeng in the west and Quedan in the east," Cruz said.
Pepeng (international name: Parma) caused landslides and floods that killed at least 16 people, officials said Monday.
With reports from AFP

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