First storm of 2017 may hit Visayas
THE weather disturbance east of Mindanao developed into a tropical depression and is threatening to move through the Visayas after making landfall in the Surigao area on Sunday or Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Saturday.
The state weather bureau renamed the tropical depression “Auring” which was moving 7 kph 120 km east of Hinatuan town in Surigao del Sur. It is expected to reach the vicinity of San Miguel in the same province by Monday morning.
Pagasa expects ‘‘Auring’’ to be about 95 km west-northwest of Dumaguete City in the Visayas’ Negros Oriental province by Tuesday morning and in the vicinity of Palawan province’s Puerto Princesa City by Wednesday morning.
‘‘Auring’’ was the low-pressure area that hovered east of Mindanao earlier this month and intensified into a tropical depression Saturday.
According to Pagasa, ‘‘Auring’’ was packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near its center and gustiness of up to 55 kph.
Estimated rainfall is from moderate to heavy within the 300-km diameter of Auring, the bureau added.
Earlier, Pagasa weather forecaster Glaiza Escullar said the LPA’s intensification into a tropical depression will likely bring rain to Leyte, Southern Cebu, Bohol and Negros Oriental provinces in Visayas, Mindanao’s northern areas, Zamboanga peninsula and Caraga region, as well as Palawan in Luzon.
Such rain may commence Saturday night and last until about Thursday, she noted, but did not discount the possibility of Auring further intensifying into a tropical storm, then weakening into an LPA while inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility.
‘‘Auring’’ will cross the PAR boundary and exit the area possibly on Wednesday evening, she continued.
Pagasa forecast ‘Auring’ to be some 25 km west of Palawan’s Pagasa Island by Thursday morning, already outside PAR.
The bureau raised tropical cyclone warning signal 1 over Mindanao’s Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Dinagat Island, expecting ‘‘Auring’’ to fan there 30 kph to 60 kph winds and waves up to 4.0 meters high.
Flash floods and landslides are possible in such areas, warned Pagasa.
Avoid venturing into seas bordering Mindanao’s eastern seaboard, Pagasa reminded the public. “The public and disaster risk reduction and management councils concerned are advised to take appropriate action and watch for the next weather bulletin,” the bureau added.