MANILA, Philippines – The tropical depression off Mindanao entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) at 10 am on Sunday, November 18. It has been given the local name Samuel. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2018)
In a bulletin released past 11 am on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Tropical Depression Samuel is already 980 kilometers east southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
It is moving west southwest at a slower 15 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 25 km/h.
The tropical depression slightly strengthened as it entered PAR. It now has maximum winds of 55 km/h from the previous 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 65 km/h from the previous 60 km/h. It could still strengthen into a tropical storm since it remains over water.
PAGASA said tropical cyclone warning signals may be raised in provinces in the eastern parts of the Visayas and of Mindanao beginning Sunday night or Monday morning, November 19.
PAGASA also warned that moderate to heavy rain is expected in Caraga, Davao Oriental, and Compostela Valley beginning Monday. Residents of those areas should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides.
Samuel might make landfall either in Northern Mindanao or Eastern Visayas on Tuesday, November 20. More detailed forecasts are expected in the coming days.
Fishermen and others with small sea vessels are also advised not to set sail in the eastern seaboards of the Visayas and of Mindanao.
If the tropical depression maintains its speed, it would exit PAR on Thursday, November 22.
Samuel is the Philippines’ 19th tropical cyclone for 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan will trigger isolated light rains in the Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, and Central Luzon on Sunday. But PAGASA said there will be “no significant impact.”
The rest of the country will only have localized thunderstorms on Sunday. But flash floods and landslides are possible if the thunderstorms become severe.
PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 8. – Rappler.com