AS TROPICAL Depression Auring entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), the Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Management Program Division (PDMPD) has issued a "heightened alert" status in the province.
Dr. Zephard Caelian, head of PDMPD, also warned that the typhoon may hit the central part of the province if it does not change course and is expected to traverse the province either on Sunday, February 21, 2021, or Monday.
Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson reminded Negrenses to be alert and ready to follow instructions.
"If there is a need for preemptive evacuation then let's follow that," he said.
"We should pray that it will change course," Lacson said, adding that tracking is being closely done on the typhoon and that it has the tendency either to go down or go up.
The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) announced that Tropical Depression "Auring" has entered the PAR Thursday morning.
Based on Pagasa's weather bulletin issued at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Auring was last spotted 900 kilometers East Southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur with maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts at 55 kph.
The storm was moving West Southwestward and should be around 680 kilometers southeast of Surigao del Sur Friday morning.
As of Thursday evening, Pagasa has not yet issued a tropical cyclone warning signal in the storm's projected path, although it had released a preemptive warning for most of Visayas and Mindanao, as well as parts of southern Luzon.
Pagasa said areas identified in hazard maps to be highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards are advised to take appropriate preparatory measures due to increasing likelihood of heavy rains and gusty conditions associated with the potential passage of a tropical cyclone during the weekend through Monday.
Auring is the first typhoon to have entered PAR this year.