More provinces under storm alert as ‘Gorio’ heads for Samar landfall

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Tropical Depression “GORIO” track. pagasa.dost.gov.ph photo

MANILA—Public storm alerts went up in over a dozen provinces Friday after a low-pressure area intensified into a tropical depression which the weather bureau has named “Gorio.”

The depression was packing peak winds of 55 kilometers per hour, and as of 5 p.m. Friday, was spotted some 290 kilometers east of Surigao City, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

Based on the “central track” of Pagasa’s forecast, the depression will pass Eastern Visayas, the Bicol region and Quezon and Aurora provinces, possibly exiting through the western coast of Northern and Central Luzon. It is expected to make landfall in Samar at noon Saturday.

But Pagasa said the depression could still veer from its present course, moving either northeast or southwest, in which case it might hit Southern Luzon.

“Thus we cannot rule out the possibility that it may directly hit Metro Manila,” Pagasa forecaster Chris Perez said at a news briefing.

Signal No. 1, indicating 45-60 kph winds, was raised in Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Burias Island, Masbate, Pollilo Island, the three Samar provinces, the two Leyte provinces, Biliran Island, and Dinagat and Siargao Islands.

Perez said Gorio was expected to move west northwest at 19 kph and to be out of the country’s area of responsibility by Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.

Gorio is seen enhancing the southwest monsoon, bringing moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms over parts of Luzon, the Visayas and Mindanao.

Luzon, including Metro Manila, will experience partly cloudy skies with passing rains due to localized thunderstorms or convections until Saturday morning, Perez said.

Pagasa advised peoiple living in low-lying and mountainous areas that have been placed under storm signals to be on alert for flash floods and landslides.

Gorio is seen spawning moderate to heavy rainfall over an area within 150 kilometers of its center or eye.

Originally posted at 3:44 p.m.

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