Monsoon rains flood farms in northern Philippines

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.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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