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Storm signal No. 1 up as ‘Pepito’ approaches Luzon

 

Track of tropical depression 'Pepito'

TRACK of tropical depression ‘Pepito’

By ELLALYN V. RUIZ

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration raised tropical cyclone Signal No. 1 over eastern Isabela and northern Aurora before noon Monday as tropical depression “Pepito” could make landfall over Northern Luzon and Central Luzon  between Tuesday and Wednesday.

PAGASA hoisted Signal No. 1 over Palanan, Dinapigue, and eastern portion of San Mariano in Isabela and Dinalungan, Casiguran, and Dilasag in Aurora.

Signal No. 1 may also be raised over the eastern portion of Quirino and other areas in Isabela and Aurora at 5 p.m. Monday.

Pepito was 475 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes at around 10 a.m. with maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph and moving fast at 30 kph west. Pepito will be 370 kms east of Casiguran, Aurora by Tuesday morning; 95 kms west-northwest of Dagupan City in Pangasinan by Wednesday morning; and 445 kms west of Dagupan City or outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility by Thursday morning.

PAGASA said the tropical depression will likely intensify into a tropical storm before it makes landfall.

Should it maintain its forecast track, Pepito will make landfall over the eastern part of Northern Luzon and Central Luzon between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, traverse the landmass, before re-emerging over the West Philippine Sea.

After crossing the landmass of Luzon, Pepito may further intensify over the West Philippine Sea and may become a severe tropical storm by Thursday, PAGASA said.

As early as Monday, light to moderate with at times heavy rains will be felt over Quezon, Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Masbate, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Northern Samar, Samar, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Dinagat Islands, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, and Sarangani.

PAGASA warned of possible flooding or rain-induced landslides during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards.

Areas under Signal No. 1 may also experience occasional gusts in the next 36 hours.

The northeasterly surface windflow partly enhanced by Pepito may also bring strong-force to near gale-force winds with occasional wind gusts over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the coastal and mountainous areas of northern Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, and Northern Samar.

A gale warning is in effect over the seaboards of Batanes, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and Isabela due to rough to very rough seas with waves reaching up to 2.8 to 4.5 meters.

Sea travel is risky over these areas, especially for those using small boats, PAGASA warned.

Moderate to rough seas with waves that may reach 1.5 to 3 meters will be experienced in the next 24 hours over the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon and Bicol region and the seaboards of Northern Samar and Eastern Samar.

PAGASA advised that those using small boats should take necessary precautionary measures while venturing out to sea.

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