Tropical Depression ‘Emong’ may cause floods, landslides

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The weather bureau on Sunday said the low pressure area (LPA) east of Surigao City has intensified into Tropical Depression “Emong” and warned of possible flash floods and landslides in the Bicol region and several areas in the Visayas and Mindanao.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said it was also monitoring an LPA hovering over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea).

Pagasa said that as of 4 p.m. on Sunday, the center of Emong was estimated at 370 kilometers east of Catarman, Northern Samar, with maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour. Emong is forecast to move north-northwest at a speed of nine kilometers per hour.

The tropical depression, although still quite distant to directly affect the country, is expected to bring moderate to occasional heavy rainshowers and thunderstorms over the Bicol region, Central and Eastern Visayas, as well as the Zamboanga peninsula, northern Mindanao and the Caraga region as it enhances the southwest monsoon.

The weather bureau cautioned residents in the affected areas to prepare for possible flash floods and landslides triggered by the rains even as it advised local disaster coordinating councils to take appropriate action.

Pagasa said Emong would bring moderate to heavy (five to 15 mm per hour) rains within its 300-km diameter, but the tropical depression may further intensify within the next 24 to 48 hours.

Forecaster Fernando Cada said the enhanced southwest monsoon would also bring light to moderate rainshowers or thunderstorms over Metro Manila, the Ilocos region, the Calabarzon and Mimaropa regions, as well as Western Visayas, Davao, Soccsksargen, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the provinces of Zambales and Bataan.

The rest of Luzon is anticipated to have partly cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.

Emong is expected to be 320 km northeast of Catarman by Monday afternoon, 500 km farther by Tuesday afternoon and 490 km northeast of Tuguegarao, Cagayan, by Wednesday afternoon.

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