MANILA (Updated 12:10 p.m.) -- Tropical Depression "Ester" has accelerated as it continues to move towards the southern islands of Japan, the state weather bureau said.

Ester, based on satellite data, was spotted at 340 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes at 10:30 a.m. Sunday with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour near the center. It moves at 17 kilometers per hour.

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The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) still hoisted storm signal number 1 in Batanes Group of Islands, Babuyan Island, and Calayan Islands.

The provinces with storm signals will experience rains and gusty winds with moderate to rough seas, the agency said.

The tropical depression is expected to be at 680 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes or at 90 kilometers southwest of Okinawa Japan on Monday morning.

Ester is expected to enhance the southwest monsoon and bring rains over Luzon and Visayas.

Residents living in low lying and mountainous areas under signal number 1 and areas over the western sections of central and southern Luzon and western Visayas are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides.

The public and the disaster coordinating councils concerned are advised to take appropriate actions. (Sunnex)