• Agaton may linger inside PAR until Thursday

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    The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said on Monday that tropical depression “Agaton” has maintained its strength and will continue to linger inside the country’s area of responsibility in the next two to three days due to its slow movement.

    In a interview, PAGASA weather forecaster Fernando Cada said that as of 4:00 a.m., the tropical depression was located at 230 km southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur or at 230 km east of Davao City packed with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center.

    Cada said that in the last six hours, Agaton changed movement from east southeast to west southwest at 5 kph.

    The presence of two high-pressure areas (HPAs) off the Pacific Ocean and the strong northeast monsoon continue to prevent “Agaton” from moving faster and continues to change its movement, he explained.

    Cada said tropical depression “Agaton” is expected to make landfall over Davao Region on Tuesday afternoon

    Cada said that after it hits land, it may weaken back to a low pressure area (LPA) then possibly dissipates.

    Cada said “Agaton” will likely stay inside the Philippine area of responsibility until Wednesday or Thursday due to its slow movement.

    If it does not change its speed and direction, PAGASA said “Agaton” is projected to be 140 km Southeast of Davao City or at 185 km Southeast of General Santos City on Tuesday morning.

    By Wednesday morning, it is forecast to be 60 km East of General Santos City and expected to be at 140 km Southwest of General Santos City on Thursday morning.

    As of 5:00 a.m. Monday, public storm warning signal number 1 was hoisted over Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Compostella Valley.

    PAGASA said estimated rainfall within the 300-km diameter of the cyclone is from five to 15 millimeters per hour, which is classified as moderate to heavy.

    Aside from gusty winds, Cada said areas under storm signal warnings will have cloudy skies with intermittent moderate to heavy rains.

    The rest of Mindanao, he noted, will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rains.

    He said Visayas and Luzon including Metro Manila will continue to have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with possible occurrence of light rains because of the cold northeast monsoon.

    “Agaton,” a former LPA that lingered over the Visayas and Mindanao for a week before becoming a tropical depression last Friday, was the first cyclone in the country this year.

    In its Monday forecast, PAGASA said Davao region and the provinces of Agusan Del Sur and Surigao Del Sur will have rains with gusty winds with moderate to rough seas.

    It added that Northern Mindanao and the rest of Caraga will experience cloudy skies with moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms which may trigger flashfloods and landslides while Visayas and the rest of Mindanao will be cloudy with light to moderate rains and thunderstorms.

    Cagayan Valley, Bicol Region and Palawan will have cloudy skies with light rains while Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated light rains.

    PAGASA also said that moderate to strong winds blowing from the northeast will prevail over Luzon and Visayas and coming from the northeast to northwest over Mindanao.

    The coastal waters throughout the archipelago will be moderate to rough.

    PAGASA also issued gale warning as strong to gale-force winds associated with the northeast monsoon, as well as Agaton, will affect the seaboards of Luzon, Visayas and Caraga region.

    “Fishing boats and other small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves,” warned the state weather bureau. PNA

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