Pagasa: Siony weakens, but Tonyo nears
As severe Tropical Storm “Siony” (international name: Atsani) moves to the West Philippine Sea, weather forecasters are now monitoring a low pressure area (LPA) that could develop into a tropical depression.
In a 5 p.m. bulletin issued on Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Siony was spotted 145 kilometers west-northwest of Itbayat, Batanes, and headed west at 20 kilometers per hour.
It is expected to weaken due to the surge of northeasterlies over the West Philippine Sea. Siony, which packs up to 95 kph of maximum sustained winds, may be downgraded to an LPA on Sunday afternoon, according to Pagasa.
The state weather bureau warned of strong breeze to near gale conditions over Batanes, and light to moderate showers over the province and Babuyan Islands.
Rough to high seas, or 3- to 8-meter-high waves, will be prevalent in waters near Batanes, Pagasa added.
The new weather disturbance east of Mindanao, meanwhile, entered the Philippine area of responsibility on Friday afternoon. The LPA was located 955 km east of Visayas.
Pagasa said this could develop into Tropical Depression “Tonyo” within 36 hours, and move toward Eastern Visayas.
“The trough of the LPA will bring scattered light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Mindanao, Eastern and Central Visayas, and Bicol regions,” the bulletin read.
Siony and the recent typhoons have delayed the shipments of rice to Itbayat, Batanes, causing a shortage of commercial rice, officials in the province said.
Gov. Marilou Cayco said the province had only 478 sacks of rice left at the local warehouse of the National Food Authority.
“I’ve already requested for 4,000 more sacks of rice. About 1,000 sacks were already loaded to a cargo vessel but it could not sail from Manila due to the recent typhoons,” Cayco told the Inquirer.
With the looming shortage of rice supply, the Ivatans were prepared to turn to other staples such as “ovud” (banana roots) and root crops as alternative food, said Nilda Salengua Garcia, officer of Itbayat municipal disaster risk reduction and management.
The province began to experience strong rains and huge waves that were triggered by Siony at 2 a.m. on Friday, Garcia said.
“We expect a delay in food supplies from Basco and outside the province because of the bad weather,” she said.
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