Tropical Depression Agaton threatens Caraga
MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Agaton maintained its strength early Monday evening, January 1, as it threatened the region of Caraga.
In a bulletin issued past 8 pm on New Year's Day, state weather bureau PAGASA said Agaton is already 145 kilometers north northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, still moving west at 19 kilometers per hour (km/h).
The tropical depression continues to have maximum winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 60 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)
Signal number 1 is now raised over more areas:
- Southern Leyte
- southern Cebu
- southern Negros Oriental
- southern Negros Occidental
- Surigao del Norte including Siargao Island
- Surigao del Sur
- Dinagat Islands
- Agusan del Norte
- Agusan del Sur
- Davao Oriental
- Davao del Norte
- Davao del Sur
- North Cotabato
- Compostela Valley
- Misamis Oriental
- Misamis Occidental
- Lanao del Norte
- Lanao del Sur
Agaton could make landfall in Caraga either Monday night or Tuesday morning, January 2.
After making landfall, it will then cross Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula, and southern Palawan – similar to the track of 2017's last tropical cyclone, the deadly Typhoon Vinta (Tembin).
"[The rainfall is] a bit less than Vinta pero huwag tayong kampante (but we should not be complacent)," said PAGASA Weather Division chief Esperanza Cayanan in a news briefing late Monday afternoon.
PAGASA also warned that residents of Bicol, the Visayas, Caraga, Davao, Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, and North Cotabato should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Sea travel is suspended in areas under signal number 1. It is also risky to venture out into the seaboards of Northern Luzon, eastern seaboards of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon, and eastern and western seaboards of the Visayas due to the surge of the northeast monsoon.
Based on its latest forecast track, Agaton will leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Thursday, January 4.
Vinta also came on the heels of Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak), which battered Eastern Visayas and killed 47 people. Urduja also left P2.172 billion in damage to agriculture and infrastructure. – Rappler.com