MANILA -- The state weather bureau raised storm warning signals in several provinces in the country after "Domeng," the fourth to enter the Philippines, intensified into a tropical storm Wednesday.

In its 11 p.m. Wednesday bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) hoisted signal number 2 in Isabela, Mt. Province, Kalinga, Abra, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, Cagayan, Babuyan Islands, Calayan Islands and Batanes Group of Islands.

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Storm signal number 1, on the other hand, was raised in Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Benguet, Nueva Viscaya, Nueva Ecija, Quirino, Ifugao and Aurora provinces.

Pagasa said areas under signal number 2 will experience stormy weather with rough to very rough seas while the rest of Northern Luzon, Nueva Ecija and Aurora will have rains with gusty winds.

"The rest of Luzon and Visayas will have cloudy skies with scattered to widespread rainshowers and thunderstorms and the rest of the country will be mostly cloudy with scattered rainshowers and thunderstorms," it said.

Tropical Storm Domeng was spotted at 350 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes at 11 p.m. Wednesday and is moving towards Cagayan and Batanes area at 19 kilometers per hour (kph) with maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

It is expected to be at 80 kilometers southwest of Basco, Batanes on Thursday evening and 350 kilometers west of the area on Friday evening.

"We expect the storm to cross Northern Luzon. There is no change in direction as far as the models are concerned," Pagasa director Prisco Nilo told Sun.Star.

Pagasa warned residents living in low lying and mountainous areas under signal numbers 1 and 2 against possible flashfloods and landslides.

The state weather bureau said the storm has enhanced the southwest monsoon that will generate moderate to rough seas, bringing rains that may also trigger flashfloods and landslides in other areas of the country.

The National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) said it has already disseminated the update on the storm through text messaging and facsimile.

The agency also asked the local leaders to disseminate the new developments through media and community radio stations and conduct press briefings as often as needed.

"This local effort will complement and reinforce efforts at the national level. Emphasis should be on proactive actions-evacuation rather than rescue," said the NDCC.

As of this posting Wednesday, some of the provinces affected by Domeng have already prepared for its coming. Rubber boats were already deployed by the coordinating councils in Isabela province in case of flooding, while possible evacuation was already ordered. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)