Monsoon rains flood farms in northern Philippines

A Filipino man hangs on a net to cross waters as he moves to safer grounds during heavy rainfall at Manila's bay, Philippines on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Philippine officials say Typhoon Halong has worsened monsoon rains, flooding northern villages, but is too far off at sea to hit the country as it blows toward southern Japan. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
A Filipino man hangs on a net to cross waters as he moves to safer grounds during heavy rainfall at Manila's bay, Philippines on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014. Philippine officials say Typhoon Halong has worsened monsoon rains, flooding northern villages, but is too far off at sea to hit the country as it blows toward southern Japan. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Monsoon rains worsened by an offshore typhoon have caused flooding in northern Philippine villages, but officials say the storm is too far off at sea to hit the country.

Government forecasters say Typhoon Halong weakened Monday but still packed sustained winds of 165 kilometers (102 miles) per hour and gusts up to 200 kph (124 mph). It was moving over the Pacific about 840 kilometers (522 miles) east of northern Cagayan province and was forecast to blow toward southern Japan this week.

Monsoon rains heightened by Halong flooded several farming villages in the north and caused traffic jams in the capital, Manila. A tugboat sank in rough seas over the weekend off Batangas province, south of Manila, and its three crewmen were rescued by the coast guard.

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