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MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE - 12:34 p.m.) Tropical storm “Gener” (international codename: Saola) has maintained its strength as it begun heading out of the country, but is moving slowly and will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon, bring heavy rains.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said in its 11 a.m. bulletin on Monday that Gener was moving north-northwest at 11 kilometers per hour and is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Thursday morning.
Earlier, the state weather bureau said the storm would bring “heavy to intense” rainfall of 12-25 millimeters per hour within its 700-kilometer diameter.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council also said foul weather forced the diversion of several international flights to the Clark and Cebu International Airports early Monday.
Diverted to Clark were flights from China, Singapore and Hong Kong. Diverted to Cebu were flights from Taipei and Cambodia and a flight from Davao.
Gener was last tracked 360 kilometer east northeast of Aparri, Cagayan or 290 kilometers east southeast of Basco, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 105 kph near the center gusting to 135 kph.
PAGASA said the effects of Gener would continue to be felt even as it moves out since it will continue to enhance the southwest monsoon and bring rains.
Public storm warning signal No. 2 remained over Cagayan, Batanes and the Calayan and Babuyan island groups, while signal No. 1 was up over Isabela, Kalinga, Apayao.
Meanwhile, residents of Malolos, Calumpit and Hagonoy in Bulacan were alerted against possible floods should heavy rains continue.
Undersecretary Benito Ramos, chief of the Office of Civil Defense, said if the Pampanga River overflows and floods Nueva Ecija, this could spill over into Bulacan and inundate the three municipalities.
This could be aggravated by the high tide.