6 provinces in Mindanao still under signal no. 1

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Monday, January 20, 2014


MANILA (Updated 10:24 a.m.) -- Tropical Depression "Agaton" has slowed down while maintaining its strength and with six provinces still under public storm warning signal number 1, the state weather forecaster said Sunday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that public storm warning signal number 1 was hoisted over Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, and Compostela Valley. These areas will continue to experience winds between 30 and 60 kph within the next 36 hours.

Aside from gusty winds, Pagasa said areas under storm signal warnings will have cloudy skies with intermittent moderate to heavy rains until Monday.

The rest of Mindanao will experience cloudy skies with light to moderate rains.

Pagasa also said that Visayas and Luzon including Metro Manila will continue to have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with possible occurrence of light rains because of the cold northeast monsoon.

Pagasa said estimated rainfall amount within the 300-kilometer (km) diameter of the cyclone is from five to 15 millimeters per hour, which is classified as moderate to heavy.

As of 5 a.m. Monday, Agaton was estimated at 230 km southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph). It was moving southwest at 5 kph.

Pagasa weather forecaster Gener Quitlong said Agaton is expected to make landfall over Davao Oriental area within 24 to 48 hours (or before Tuesday) if it does not change its direction and speed.

Quitlong said that after it hits land, it may weaken back to a low pressure area (LPA) then possibly dissipates.

"Pero kung hindi ito matutunaw, didiretso ito pababa ng Mindanao or south portion ng Mindanao, papuntang Sulu Sea, bago ito lumabas ng bansa," he said.

Quitlong further said Agaton will likely exit the Philippine waters either Wednesday or Thursday.

If it does not change its speed and direction, Quitlong said Agaton is projected to be 155 km southeast of Davao City Monday afternoon.

By Tuesday afternoon, it is forecast to be 60 km southeast of General Santos City and out of the Philippine area of responsibility on Wednesday afternoon.

Agaton, a former LPA that lingered over the Visayas and Mindanao for a week before becoming a tropical depression last Friday, was the first cyclone of the country this year.

Meanwhile, the Department of Education announced that classes in the following areas were suspended Monday, January 20, due to bad weather:

Butuan City - Preschool to high school (Public and private)
Agusan del Norte - All levels (Public and private)
Compostella Valley - All levels (Public and private)
Tandag City- All level (Public and private)
Dinagat Island- All level (Public and private)
Cantilan, Surigao del Sur - All level (Public and private)
Lanuza, Surigao del Sur - All level (Public and private)
Madrid, Surigao del Sur - All level (Public and private)
Lingig, Surigao del Sur - All level (Public and private)
Davao City - Preschool to high school (Public and private)
Davao del Norte and Davao Oriental- All levels (Public and private)

The Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC), for its part, cancelled the following flights.

Here is the list of cancelled flights:

Zest Air

Z2-348 Manila – Cagayan De Oro
Z2-349 Cagayan De Oro - Manila

PAL Express

2R-519 Manila - Cagayan De Oro
62R-520 Cagayan De Oro - Manila

Cebu Pacific
5J-397 Manila - Cagayan De Oro
5J-398 Cagayan De Oro – Manila

(PNA/Third Anne Peralta/Sunnex)

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