Samuel over West PH Sea after Palawan landfall

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Samuel began to move away from the country before dawn on Thursday, November 22, after making its final landfall in Palawan. This is as forecasters also continue monitoring a tropical storm outside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR).

In a bulletin issued 5 am on Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Samuel is already 90 kilometers north northwest of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan.

The tropical depression continues to move west at 25 kilometers per hour (km/h).

It had made landfall in Roxas, Palawan, at 1 am on Thursday.

Samuel earlier made landfall 5 times in the Visayas on Wednesday, November 21, particularly in the following areas:

Samuel has maximum winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 65 km/h.

Signal No. 1 remains up in Palawan, including the Calamian Group of Islands. Moderate to heavy rain is still expected in the province, which may trigger flash floods and landslides.

Residents should stay on alert, especially if they live near rivers, in low-lying communities, or in mountainous regions. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, and Antique will also have scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms. Flash floods and landslides are possible, too, if the rain becomes heavy.

Fishermen and others with small sea vessels are also advised not to set sail in Palawan, as well as in the northern and western seaboards of Northern Luzon.

A gale warning was issued at 5 am on Thursday for Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Batanes, Babuyan, Calayan, and the northern coast of Cagayan.

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

Thousands of passengers have been stranded in various ports in the country.

If Samuel maintains its speed, it would exit PAR either on Thursday evening or before dawn on Friday, November 23.

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 22, 2018, 5 am. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Samuel as of November 22, 2018, 5 am.

Image from PAGASA

Aside from Samuel, PAGASA is also monitoring a tropical storm outside PAR, with the international name Man-yi.

Tropical Storm Man-yi is already 2,460 kilometers east of Mindanao, moving west northwest over the Pacific Ocean at a faster 45 km/h from the previous 35 km/h.

It now has maximum winds of 85 km/h from the previous 80 km/h and gustiness of up to 105 km/h from the previous 95 km/h. It could still intensify into a severe tropical storm and then a typhoon since it remains over water.

Man-yi might enter PAR on Sunday, November 25, or Monday, November 26. If it does, it would be given the local name Tomas.

The good news – Man-yi or the potential Tomas is unlikely to make landfall, so far. But the public is advised to monitor updates in case this forecast changes.

Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan will still bring isolated light rains to the Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Cagayan Valley on Thursday. But PAGASA said there will be "no significant impact."

The rest of the country not affected by Samuel or the northeast monsoon will only have localized thunderstorms on Thursday. 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