THE FIRST tropical storm to enter the country this year, named Agaton, is bringing rains over eastern parts of central Philippines and is expected to linger over that area until Tuesday, the state weather agency reported on Sunday.
“It will remain almost stationary,” weather forecaster Benison Esterase said in a briefing streamed through the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration’s (PAGASA) Facebook page.
PAGASA has raised strong wind alerts and heavy rainfall warnings over Eastern Visayas, parts of Central Visayas, and northern parts of Caraga.
Local and emergency response authorities have been alerted for possible flooding and landslides.
Sea travel to and from several ports in the Visayas islands as well as the island provinces of Siargao and Dinagat in north-eastern Mindanao have been temporarily canceled.
Three vessels carrying 212 passengers and crew were stranded at the Liloan and San Ricardo ports in Eastern Visayas as of Sunday 12 noon, according to the Philippine Coast Guard.
Agaton made landfall over Calicoan Island, in Guiuan, Eastern Samar at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, PAGASA reported.
Its center was located over the coastal waters of Guiuan as of 10 a.m., moving slowly with maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 105 km/h.
Tropical storm Agaton is seen to weaken into a tropical depression by Tuesday as it interacts with a tropical cyclone that has been designated the international name Malakas, which is expected to just brush through the eastern side of the Philippine’s weather borderline.
Malakas, to be given the local name Basyang once in the country, is unlikely to make landfall, according to Mr. Esterase.
As of 10 a.m. Sunday, Malakas was still outside the Philippine area, located 1,570 km east of Mindanao. It was moving with maximum sustained winds of 85 km/h and gustiness of up to 105 km/h.
“Agaton is forecast to degenerate into a remnant low as Malakas begins to assimilate its circulation by late Tuesday or early Wednesday,” PAGASA said.
Meanwhile, a low pressure area has entered the central-western part of the Philippines early Sunday, bringing rains over the province of Palawan.
It was located 1,085 km southwest of Puerto Princesa City as of 11 a.m. Sunday.
Mr. Esterase said PAGASA is continuously monitoring the low pressure area although it has a low chance of developing into another storm. — MSJ