Signal No. 1 in 2 dozen areas as Usman slowly approaches
MANILA, Philippines – Signal No. 1 was raised in more areas late Thursday evening, December 27, while Tropical Depression Usman maintained its strength and slow pace en route to Eastern Visayas.
In a bulletin issued 11 pm on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Usman is already 330 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar. It is moving west northwest at 10 kilometers per hour (km/h).
The tropical depression continues to have 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 raised in:
- southern part of Quezon
- Camarines Sur
- Masbate including Ticao Island and Burias Island
- southern part of Oriental Mindoro
- Cuyo Island
- Eastern Samar
- Northern Samar
- Southern Leyte
- northern part of Cebu including Camotes Islands
- northern part of Negros Occidental
- Dinagat Islands
Moderate to heavy rain will continue in Bicol, Eastern Visayas, and the Dinagat Islands on Thursday night.
There will also be moderate to heavy rain in the Visayas, Bicol, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, and Quezon on Friday, December 28.
Due to its slow pace, Usman's landfall in Eastern Samar is now projected to happen on Friday evening, instead of afternoon. After hitting land, it will likely cross Leyte, Panay Island, Sulu Sea, Palawan, and the West Philippine Sea.
PAGASA added that light to heavy rain is expected in Metro Manila, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa from Friday afternoon until Saturday, December 29.
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 2 am on Friday, which means sea trips may be disrupted, too:
- Camarines Norte
- southern part of Occidental Mindoro
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