SEVERE TROPICAL storm Hanna was expected to intensify into a typhoon within 12 hours while inside Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) in extreme northern Luzon, the state weather agency said late Thursday afternoon. 

While Hanna is not seen to make landfall, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said it continues to intensify as it accelerated its west north-westward movement. As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Hanna was spotted 1,035 kilometers east of extreme Northern Luzon with maximum winds of 110 km per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 135 kph.

For the next three days, gusty winds and moderate to heavy rains that may cause flooding and landslides will be experienced, particularly in elevated areas and the western side of Luzon due the habagat or southwest monsoon, which has been enhanced by Hanna and other weather systems. 

Meanwhile, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said damage to agriculture caused by the habagat and super typhoon Goring (international name: Saola) which just exited the country, reached P375 million on Thursday and affected 8,483 farmers.

The rice sector suffered the greatest losses at 11,712 metric tons valued at P241.8 million, followed by corn at 4,130 MT and a cost of P132.4 million. Damage to high-value crops reached P715,500. — Adrian H. Halili