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Flash floods feared

BY: Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz

Northern Luzon may be hit by flash floods and landslides as tropical depression “Kiko” moves closer and threatens to make landfall over Batanes group of islands by today.

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather forecaster Nikos Peñaranda said cyclone Kiko could move across Northern Luzon on Tuesday evening before moving over Batanes group of islands by Wednesday. It is forecast to move northwest and faster at 17 kilometers per hour (kph).

Kiko was estimated at 350 kilometers (km) east of Tuguegarao City mid-Tuesday, packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kph and gustiness of up to 65 kph.

From an initial movement of west-northwest, Peñaranda said Kiko has shifted northwest thus the center of the cyclone is no longer expected to hit Cagayan province.

Tropical cyclone warning signal No. 1 has already been lifted in some areas but remains raised in northern Cagayan, Babuyan group of islands, and Batanes before Tuesday noon, he said.

Peñaranda warned of moderate to occasional heavy rains over Northern Luzon, which could possibly trigger flash floods or landslides over the area.

Sea travel for small vessels is risky over the eastern section of Northern Luzon, he added.

Meanwhile, light to moderate rains and thunderstorms, particularly in the evening or early morning will prevail over Western Visayas, and the rest of Luzon, including Metro Manila.