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MANILA, Philippines -- (UPDATE 3, 6:57 p.m.) Typhoon “Igme” (international codename: Tembin) continued to strengthen as it slowly inched its way past Northern Luzon early Tuesday morning even as another storm further out over the Pacific gathered strength and was poised to enter the country this week.
At 4 p.m., typhoon Igme's eye was spotted 320 km east northeast of Basco, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 165 kph and gustiness of up to 200 kph.
Storm Signal 1 remains hoisted over Batanes Group of Islands.
Public storm warning signal No. 1, meaning winds of 30-60 kph can be expected in the affected area.
Igme is not expected to make landfall but is forecast to head towards Taiwan as it exits the country by Thursday.
Moderate to heavy rains of 10-25 millimeters per hour are expected to fall within Igme’s 550-km diameter while the western section of Luzon, including Metro Manila, will likely experience light to moderate rains as the typhoon enhances the southwest monsoon.
Earlier, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said Igme claimed its first life Sunday when a boy was swept away by strong water currents in Agoo, La Union.
Michael DC Estacio was declared dead at the hospital where he was rushed.
Rains from the slow-moving typhoon have already triggered flashfloods that affected 353 families or 1,476 people in 10 villages of La Union, particularly in the towns of Naguilian, Bacnotan, Burgos, Balaoan and San Juan.
Meanwhile, the tropical storm called Julian, which will be locally designated as “Bolaven” when it enters the Philippine area of responsibility, continued to intensify, gathering strength over the warm Pacific Ocean.
Residents in affected areas in Luzon and eastern Visayas will have to brace for threats of landslides and flashfloods from the still saturated soil in most of Luzon due to the Habagat downpour and rains from typhoon Igme.
The country is visited annually by 19-20 storms. For the month of August, between 2 and 3 storms are expected to visit.