MANILA -- The low pressure area (LPA) over Luzon developed into a tropical depression on Tuesday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) reported.

The tropical depression was named "Ester," the fifth tropical cyclone in the country this year.

Due to the cyclone, the Batanes Group of Islands and Calayan and Babuyan Group of Islands are now under storm warning signal number 1. These areas may experience 30-60 kilometers per hour (kph) winds in at least 36 hours.

Pagasa said that as of 10 a.m. Tuesday, Ester was located at 120 kilometers (km) north of Basco, Batanes.

Ester has maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

Ester is forecast to move northeast at 20 kph, Pagasa added.

The tropical depression will enhance the southwest monsoon, which will bring moderate to heavy rains over Ilocos Region and over the provinces of Zambales and Bataan. (Sunnex)