‘Labuyo’ intensifies, moves closer to Luzon

Manila, Philippines --- Storm "Labuyo" (international name "Utor") further intensified as it moved closer to Northern Luzon yesterday the government weather bureau said.

Aldczar Aurelio, weather forecaster of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said "Labuyo" will likely make landfall over Mountain Province Monday afternoon.

He also pointed out that the weather disturbance may further intensify into a typhoon before hitting the landmass of Luzon on Monday.

The tropical storm was at 450 kilometers (km) east of Virac, Catanduanes yesterday morning, packing maximum winds of 105 kilometers per hour (kph) near the eye of the storm, and gustiness of up to 135 kph.

Signal No. 1 was hoisted over Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Quirino, and Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Polillo Island, and northern part of Quezon.

Aurelio said if "Labuyo" maintains its west-northwest track and speed of 19 kph, it will be in the vicinity of Sabangan, Mountain Province Monday afternoon.

He also said the effects of the storm will be felt in areas under storm warning signal by Sunday evening. PAGASA said moderate to intense rains will prevail over areas under Signal No. 1.

This morning, "Labuyo" will be at 240 km northeast of Virac, Catanduanes. By Monday morning it will be in the vicinity of Cauayan City and at 240 km northwest of Sinait, Ilocos Norte or northwest boundary of the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Tuesday morning.

"Labuyo" is the 2nd tropical cyclone that entered PAR this month and 12th this year. At least one more tropical cyclone may affect the country this month, PAGASA said.