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‘Henry’ won’t make landfall

ANOTHER tropical storm (international name: Matmo) entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility Friday morning and has been codenamed “Henry,” according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.

The state weather agency said Henry was 860 km east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar at 4 p.m. Friday and  was moving north northwest at 9 kph with maximum winds of 65 kph near the center and gusts of up to 80 kph.

Pagasa forecaster Glaiza Escullar said in a radio interview that Henry entered the PAR at around 6 a.m., but it isn’t expected to make landfall in the country and may only skirt Luzon’s eastern seaboard en route to Taiwan and Japan.

Henry is forecast to be 800 km east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar by Saturday morning and 860 km east of Casiguran, Aurora by Sunday. By Monday morning, it is expected to be at 600 km east of Basco, Batanes.

But Henry, which arrived two days after Typhoon Glenda hit Luzon island, is expected to strengthen the southwest monsoon and cause rain and thunderstorms over parts of the country.

Henry arrived as the official death toll from Glenda increased to 54 on Friday with damage to agriculture and infrastructure now pegged at P5.4 billion, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

The disaster agency said 36 of the fatalities came from the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) region, five from Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), four from Bicol, four from Central Luzon; two from Eastern Visayas, two from Metro Manila and one from Western Visayas.

Most of the deaths were attributable to being hit by fallen trees, electric posts, collapsed walls and drowning, the agency added.

More than half a million of the 882,326 people affected by the storm remained in 1,200 evacuation centers with 26,259 houses damaged.

Damage to agriculture has hit P4,529,620,307.42 in crops and livestock from Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol and the Cordillera while the cost of repairing infrastructure in Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Metro Manila has already reached P892,011,600.

Glenda has strengthened into a powerful super typhoon heading for the southern coast of China and was expected to hit Hainan island and Guangdong province. With AFP

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