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Storm to hit Luzon on Christmas Day

It’s going to be a rainy Christmas in the Bicol region and Southern Luzon, including Metro Manila, due to an approaching tropical cyclone.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration located the tropical storm with international name “Nock-ten” at 1,380 kilometers east of Mindanao in the Pacific Ocean and remains outside the country’s area of responsibility at around Thursday noon, with maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 80 kph, and moving west-northwest at 23 kph.

Should it maintain its present speed and direction, Nock-ten will be inside the country’s area of responsibility last night or this morning and will be locally called “Nina,” according to PAGASA senior weather forecaster Jori Loiz.

Loiz said Nock-ten could reach severe tropical storm category today. PAGASA could also raise tropical cyclone warning Signal No. 1 over the Bicol region and Northern Samar today, he added.

He said PAGASA does not discount the possibility that the tropical cyclone may intensify into a typhoon.

Areas that may be directly affected by the tropical storm on December 24 and 25 include Bicol region, Northern Samar, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.

These areas could experience heavy to at times torrential rains.

Loiz said Metro Manila may experience cloudy skies by December 25 and moderate to heavy rains by December 26.

Nock-ten could leave the country’s area of responsibility by December 27 or 28. (ELLALYN B. DE VERA)