'Ofel' gains strength, NDRRMC on red alert

MANILA, Philippines - Tropical depression "Ofel" gained strength as it continues to move towards northern Mindanao and eastern Visayas on Tuesday, October 23.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) raised its alert status to red late on Monday and told LGUs to make preparations in areas at risk of being battered by the storm.

In its 11 am tropical cyclone warning, weather bureau PAGASA said that as of 10 am, "Ofel" was located 300 km East of Tandag, Surigao Del Sur (09.0°N, 129.2°E), with maximum sustained winds of 55 km/h.

The tropical depression is moving West at 15 km/h and by Wednesday morning will be 80 km East of Surigao City or
over Siargao and Dinagat Island.

Track as of 2 am. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Track as of 2 am.

Image courtesy of PAGASA

Public storm signal warning #1 has been raised over the following provinces:

Residents living in low lying and mountainous areas in those provinces were alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides, while fishing boats and other small vessels should not go out to sea, in particular in southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

LGUs should make preparations for precautionary evacuation of citizens, the NDRRMC said. - Rappler.com