Tropical Depression Usman slows down again
MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Usman further slowed down on Thursday afternoon, December 27, as it headed for land.
In a bulletin issued 5 pm on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Usman is located 410 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
It is now moving west at a slightly slower 10 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 15 km/h.
The tropical depression still has maximum winds of 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 65 km/h. But it is likely to strengthen into a tropical storm before hitting land. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Signal No. 1 is still raised in 18 areas:
- Camarines Sur
- Masbate including Ticao Island and Burias Island
- Eastern Samar
- Northern Samar
- Southern Leyte
- northern part of Cebu including Camotes Islands
- northern part of Iloilo
- northern part of Negros Occidental
- Dinagat Islands
Moderate to heavy rain is expected in Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and the Dinagat Islands starting Thursday.
There will also be moderate to heavy rain in the Visayas, Bicol, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Quezon on Friday, December 28.
Usman could make landfall in Eastern Samar on Friday afternoon.
Also from Friday afternoon until Saturday, December 29, expect light to heavy rain in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa.
Areas in Usman's path should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides.
PAGASA also warned that sea travel is risky in areas under Signal No. 1, as well as in the seaboards of Northern Luzon, the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon and Southern Luzon, and the eastern seaboard of the Surigao provinces. This is due to both Usman and the surge of the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan. (READ: Tropical Depression Usman: Areas where sea travel is suspended)
PAGASA also warned that Signal No. 1 could be raised in the following areas by 8 pm on Thursday, which means sea trips may be disrupted, too:
- Camarines Norte
- southern part of Quezon
- southern part of Oriental Mindoro
- southern part of Iloilo
Based on its latest forecast track, Usman is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility either on Sunday evening, December 30, or on Monday morning, December 31.
Usman is the Philippines' 21st tropical cyclone for 2018. The country's average number of tropical cyclones per year is only 20. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)
Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon will affect Northern Luzon and Central Luzon on Friday.
Cagayan Valley, the Ilocos Region, and the Cordillera Administrative Region will have light to moderate rain, while the rest of Luzon will have light rain. But PAGASA said the northeast monsoon will have "no significant impact."
The rest of Mindanao, not affected by either Usman or the northeast monsoon, will only have isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms on Friday.
PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 8. – Rappler.com