THE low pressure area east of Catanduanes has developed into Tropical Depression Pepito with maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph, state weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
No tropical cyclone wind signal is in effect, but “Pepito” has partly enhanced the northeasterly surface windflow over the eastern seaboards of Samar and Luzon.
This may bring strong to near gale-force winds with occasional gusts over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the coastal and mountainous areas of northern Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, and Northern Samar.
Light to moderate and, at times, heavy rains may be experienced over Quezon, Bicol region, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Bangsamoro, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, and Sarangani.
Flooding (including flashfloods) and rain-induced landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards.
Pagasa said “Pepito” developed into a tropical depression at 2 a.m. Monday, October 19, 2020 and is moving west northwestward.
It will likely remain a tropical depression over the next 36 hours. At 4 a.m. Monday, the center was estimated at 820 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes.
It is forecast to hit land as a tropical depression or weak tropical storm over the eastern coast of Northern Luzon-Central Luzon area Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning.
After crossing the landmass of Luzon. “Pepito” may further intensify over the West Philippine Sea and may reach severe tropical storm category by Friday. (MVI/SunStar Philippines)