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N. Philippines braced for typhoon 'Nuri'
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Typhoon Nuri (local codename as " Karen") continues to intensify as it maintained its course towards the northern Philippines, the country's weather agency said on Tuesday.

In a statement issued at 11 AM local time (0300 GMT), the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the eye of the storm, which packs maximum sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour with gusts of up to 160 kilometers per hour, was located 450 kilometers east southeast of Tuguegarao City.

Moving west at 22 kilometers per hour, the storm was forecast to make landfall in Cagayan province between 7 and 9 AM Wednesday, the state weather bureau said.

The storm is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon, bringing rains to Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, particularly the western portions, according to the statement.

Located to the west to the Pacific, the Philippine archipelago is a frequent victim of summer typhoons generated over the Pacific. Hundreds and even thousands of lives were lost every year in the devastation of tropical storms.

(Xinhua News Agency August 19, 2008)

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