(Eagle News)–Signal No. 1 remains hoisted over Metro Manila and other areas as Tropical Depression “Pepito” slightly accelerates towards the Northern and Central Luzon area.
Apart from Metro Manila, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Rizal, the northern portion of Quezon (General Nakar, Infanta, Real) including Polillo Islands, the extreme northern portion of Camarines Norte (Vinzons), and Catanduanes are under the tropical cyclone wind signal with “Pepito” located 440 kilometers east of Infanta, Quezon.
It is packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 70 kph, and is moving west northwest at 25 kph.
The center of “Pepito” is forecast to make landfall over the coast of Aurora-Isabela area tonight, cross the Luzon landmass, and emerge over the West Philippine Sea tomorrow morning.
“Pepito” may reach tropical storm category before making landfall, but PAGASA said there remains a possibility that it makes landfall as a tropical depression.
After crossing the landmass of Luzon, “Pepito” is forecast to intensify and may reach severe tropical storm category by Thursday.
According to the weather bureau, today, “Pepito” will bring moderate to heavy rains over Bicol Region, Marinduque, Romblon, Quezon, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela, mainland Cagayan, Pangasinan, and Benguet.
Light to moderate with at times heavy rains will be experienced over Metro Manila, Cordillera Administrative Region, MIMAROPA, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Bangsamoro, Northern Mindanao, and the rest of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, CALABARZON, and MIMAROPA.
“Flooding (including flashfloods) and rain-induced landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards,” PAGASA said.
High winds (strong to near gale) will be experienced in areas under signal number one, while high winds to gale-force winds with occasional gusts due to the northeasterly surface wind flow will be experienced over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the coastal and/or mountainous areas of mainland Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte.
A gale warning is in effect over the seaboards of Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur due to rough to very rough seas.
PAGASA said the seaboards of areas under signal number one will also experience rough to very rough seas.
Sea travel is risky over these areas, especially for those using small seacraft.
Moderate to rough seas will prevail over the western and eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon and the eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas, Caraga, and Davao Region.
PAGASA said those with small seacraft are advised to take precautionary measures when venturing out to sea.
Inexperienced mariners should also avoid navigating in these conditions, the weather bureau said.