Agaton intensifies into tropical storm ahead of exit
MANILA, Philippines – Agaton intensified from a tropical depression into a tropical storm late Wednesday morning, January 3, as it continued to move away from the country. It has been given the international name Bolaven.
In a bulletin issued past 11 am on Wednesday, PAGASA said Agaton is already 390 kilometers west northwest of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, still moving west at 25 kilometers per hour (km/h).
The tropical storm now has maximum winds of 65 km/h from the previous 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 80 km/h from the previous 65 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)
Agaton made landfall in the Philippines as a tropical depression 6 times on Tuesday, January 2:
- Socorro, Surigao del Norte – 1 am
- Claver, Surigao del Norte – 1:15 am
- Jagna, Bohol – 4 am
- Santander, Cebu – 5 am
- Bais City, Negros Oriental – 7:30 am
- Aborlan, Palawan – 10:45 pm
Though Agaton is leaving, PAGASA said moderate to heavy rain is still expected in Palawan due to the trough or extension of the tropical storm, and in Bicol, Rizal, Aurora, and Quezon due to the tail-end of a cold front. Residents of these areas should watch out for possible flash floods and landslides. (IN PHOTOS: Flood greets Biliran residents on first day of 2018)
In Bohol, Governor Edgar Chatto said preemptive evacuation helped them achieve their zero casualty target.
Meanwhile, due to the northeast monsoon, there will also be scattered or isolated rainshowers in the rest of Luzon, including Metro Manila.
Sea travel remains risky in the seaboards of Northern Luzon and Southern Luzon, eastern seaboard of Central Luzon, eastern and western seaboards of the Visayas, and eastern seaboard of Mindanao due to the surge of the northeast monsoon.
More than 3,000 passengers had been stranded at various ports due to Agaton, most of them in Northern Mindanao and Central Visayas, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
Based on its latest forecast track, Agaton will leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday afternoon. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)