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Friday, June 10, 2011

Tropical Storm Sarika

Screenshot: Hong Kong Observatory (iPhone App)

Tropical storm Sarika sprung up during the early hours Friday morning (HKT). Some casualties have been reported.

Six dead as storm exits Philippines

MANILA — Six people were killed and 27 others were missing at sea as Tropical Storm Sarika headed out of Philippine waters Friday with many communities still flooded, rescuers said.

Four people drowned in the major southern island of Mindanao earlier this week while a boy died after falling into a swollen creek in Batangas city near Manila, and a woman drowned on the central island of Tablas, they said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said 26 Filipino fishermen were missing near the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

One crew member of a barge went missing as the vessel, which was carrying agricultural products, was driven by strong winds off the town of Sariaya, south of Manila, it added.

Several hundred people remained at evacuation centres across Luzon early Friday while waiting for floodwaters to recede, the disaster council said in its latest update.

Sarika was heading for southeastern China on Friday with peak winds of 65 kilometres (40 miles) an hour, after brushing the west coast of the main Philippine island of Luzon, the state weather service said.

As Sarika swings past Hong Kong, the T1 signal has been hoisted as a precaution. Sarika is not forecast to strengthen, and is anticipated to mainly bring a fresh breeze, high humidity and squally showers.

Weather: Hong Kong issues alert v.s. 'Sarika

As tropical storm "Dodong" (international name Sarika) left Philippine territory and headed for China before noon Friday, Hong Kong authorities issued a standby signal for the approaching cyclone.

The Hong Kong Observatory issued a "number one standby signal" as "Sarika" neared China, although it said it does not expect to issue a Strong Wind Signal within the day.

"The Standby Signal, No. 1, is in force. This means that a tropical cyclone now (centered) within about 800 (kilometers) of Hong Kong may affect us," it said.

According to the latest forecast track, "Sarika will maintain some distance from Hong Kong today and local winds are not expected to strengthen significantly. The chance of issuing Strong Wind Signal No. 3 today is not high," it added.

Shortly after making landfall on the south coast of china, it's forecast to weaken into an ex tropical low before it eventually dissolves. This is estimated to happen within the next two to three days.

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