MANILA, Philippines – Tropical storm “Helen” (international name: Kai-Tak) claimed two lives in the provinces of Pangasinan and Ilocos Norte.
Executive Director Benito Ramos of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said the fatalities died due to drowning in Basista, Pangasinan and Dingras in Ilocos Norte .
“Ito ay may sakit na epilepsy, nangisay nahulog sa palayan, nalunod. Yung isa naman ay doon sa Dingras, Ilocos Norte. Nag swimming yung mag-uncle. Nabuhay yung bata, yung matanda na 47 years old nalunod,” said Ramos.
Helen made landfall in Palanan, Isabela at 1 a.m. on Wednesday. Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy said the province was spared from major damage after the storm hit the Sierra Madre mountain range.
“Pag landfall niya bumangga dito sa Sierra Madre Mountains kaya humina, bumagal at nagbago ang direction. Nag landfall dyan sa Palanan kaya minimal ang damages. Walang casualties, walang injury wala din sinirang pananim,” explained Ramos.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Helen has slightly weakened. It was last spotted 40 kilometers south southeast of Aparri, Cagayan, packing maximum sustained winds of 75 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kilometer per hour.
Helen is moving at west northwest at 13 kph.
Storm Signal No. 2 is still hoisted in Cagayan, Calayan Group of Islands, Babuyan Group of Islands, Isabela, Northern Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet, Ifugao, Mt. Province, Ilocos Sur, Apayao, Kalinga, Ilocos Norte, Abra, and Batanes Group of Islands
Meanwhile, Storm Signal No. 1 is up in Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac, La Union and the rest of Aurora.