Signal No. 1 in 24 areas due to Tropical Depression Samuel

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MANILA, Philippines – The number of areas under Signal No. 1 rose to 24 late Monday evening, November 19, as Tropical Depression Samuel continued heading for land.

In a bulletin issued 11 pm on Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Samuel is already 410 kilometers east northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, still located over the Philippine Sea.

It is now moving west northwest at a slightly slower 20 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 25 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 expected to strengthen into a tropical storm within the next 24 hours.

Signal No. 1 is now raised in:

Samuel is expected to make landfall in the Eastern Visayas-Caraga area on Tuesday evening, November 20.

PAGASA warned that moderate to heavy rain may trigger flash floods and landslides in Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Negros Occidental, Davao Oriental, and Compostela Valley.

Residents of those areas should be on alert, especially if they live near rivers, in low-lying communities, or in mountainous regions. PAGASA reiterated that there is no room for complacency even if Samuel is only a tropical depression at the moment. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Classes have been suspended in parts of the Visayas and Mindanao for Tuesday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Tuesday, November 20)

Fishermen and others with small sea vessels are also advised not to set sail in areas under Signal No. 1 and in the eastern and southern seaboards of Mindanao.

A gale warning was issued at 5 pm on Monday for Davao Oriental and Davao Occidental.

Seas off those areas are rough to very rough, with wave heights reaching 2.6 meters to 4.5 meters.

If Samuel maintains its speed, it would exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday evening, November 22.

Samuel is the Philippines' 19th tropical cyclone for 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Samuel as of November 19, 2018, 11 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Samuel as of November 19, 2018, 11 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan will continue to trigger isolated light rains in the Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, and Central Luzon on Tuesday. But PAGASA said there will be "no significant impact."

The rest of Luzon will only have localized thunderstorms on Tuesday. 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