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Kiko slightly intensifies; signals could be raised over Northern and Extreme Northern Luzon

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signals could be raised over several provinces in Northern Luzon, and higher wind signal levels over Extreme Northern Luzon as Typhoon Kiko (international name: Chanthu) slightly intensified on Wednesday while moving west southwestward over the Philippine Sea, PAGASA said.

"No Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal is currently in effect," PAGASA said regarding Kiko in its 11 a.m. bulletin.

However, wind signals may be hoisted over the said localities beginning Wednesday night or Thursday morning. 

"The highest possible wind signal that may be hoisted for this tropical cyclone is TCWS #4," PAGASA said.

PAGASA added that heavy rains associated with the typhoon may begin affecting the eastern section of Northern Luzon on Friday.

Based on the forecast track, Kiko is forecast to move westward southwestward in the next 12 hours before turning west northwestward until Friday towards the vicinity of Extreme Northern Luzon. 

PAGASA said Kiko is expected to continuously intensify until Saturday, when it is likely to reach its peak intensity of 185 to 205 km/h while moving over Northern Luzon due to favorable environmental conditions.

The weakening is possible on Sunday as Kiko moves closer to Taiwan and interacts with its rugged terrain.

As of 10 a.m., the center of the eye of Kiko was estimated based on all available data at 1,120 km east of Central Luzon (15.8°N, 132.0°E).

It has maximum sustained winds of 155 km/h near the center, gustiness of up to 190 km/h, and central pressure of 965 hPa.

The typhoon is moving west southwestward at 20 km/h with strong winds or higher than that category extending outwards up to 180 km from the center. —Jamil Santos/KG, GMA News