NINE provinces in Visayas and Mindanao are now under public storm warning signal no. 1 as Tropical Depression Agaton maintains its strength and continues to moves slowly towards the Surigao provinces, the state weather bureau said on Saturday.
In a interview, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) weather forecaster Glaiza Escullar said that as of 4 a.m. Agaton was located at 170 km northeast of Hinatuan town, Surigao del Sur province or 175 km East of Surigao City packed with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center.
It is forecast to move west at 5 kph.
Escullar said the presence of two high-pressure areas (HPAs) off the Pacific Ocean continued to prevent the Agaton from moving faster.
She noted that the tropical depression is expected to make landfall in Surigao on Saturday evening or Sunday if it continues to maintain its movement and speed.
However, Escullar said that once Agaton hits land it would weaken into a Low Pressure Area (LPA).
Escullar said that public storm warning signal no. 1—winds of 30-60 kph is expected in at least 36 hours— was hoisted in the provinces of Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte including Siargao Island, Surigao del Sur, Dinagat Province, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental and Compostella Valley.
Pagasa said Agaton may bring rainfall of 5 to 15.0 mm per hour (moderate to heavy) within the 300-km diameter of the tropical depression.
Agaton will bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms over the Eastern and Central Visayas on Saturday, according to the Pagasa weather update released at about 5 a.m.
It added that sea travel is risky over the seaboards of Luzon and Visayas due to northeast monsoon.
Escullar also said that the rest of Luzon, including Metro Manila, will experience cloudy skies with light rains due to northeast monsoon.
Agaton is forecast to be at 70 km north of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur by Sunday morning.
It is expected to be at 65 km North of Davao City by Monday morning and by Tuesday morning expected to be at 90 km South of Cotabato City. PNA