Storm threatens Mindanao

Storm threatens Mindanao

THE LOW-PRESSURE AREA (LPA) near Mindanao has intensified into tropical depression “Kabayan,” packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) and threatening to make landfall in Surigao del Sur or Davao Oriental on Sunday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) already raised tropical wind Signal No. 1 along the southern portion of Samar and Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Bohol, and Camotes Islands in Visayas.

Signal No. 1 was also issued in Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, the northern portion of Davao Oriental, the northern portion of Davao de Oro, Misamis Oriental, Camiguin, and the northern portion of Bukidnon.

“The possibility of reaching tropical storm category pre-landfall is not ruled out,” said Christopher F. Perez, PAGASA assistant weather services chief. He said landfall was expected either Sunday night or early Monday.

Kabayan, whose gusty winds reaches 70 kph, was last seen 440 kilometers east of Davao City and moving slowly in a north northwestward direction.

Areas placed under storm signals are expecting wind speeds of 36 kph to 61 kph along with intermittent rains in the next 36 hours.

“Kabayan is forecast to weaken over land and the possibility of being downgraded into a low-pressure area while over land or after emerging over the sea is not ruled out,” it added.

Additionally, the weather bureau said that heavy rainfall may occur along the eastern portion of Southern Luzon on Sunday and over Eastern Luzon on Dec. 18 due to the Shear Line coinciding with the storm’s passage.

PAGASA has also hoisted a gale warning along the seaboard of Northern Luzon and the eastern seaboards of Visayas and Mindanao. It warned operators of small sea vessels to remain in port or seek safe harbor. — Adrian H. Halili