TROPICAL Storm "Basyang" (international name Sanba), which is now over Cortes, Surigao del Sur province, has weakened into a tropical depression, the weather state bureau said on Tuesday.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that as of 11 a.m., Tueday, February 13, the center of Basyang was in the vicinity of Cantilan, Surigao del Sur.

Pagasa said Basyang was packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 75 kph.

The weather bureau has raised Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) 1 in Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo groups of islands in Luzon.

Also areas Aklan, Capiz, Antique, Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Bohol, Cebu, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, southern section of Samar, and southern section of Eastern Samar in the Visayas.

Areas in Mindanao under TCWS 1 are Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, northern section of Bukidnon, Lanao del Norte, northern section of Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, and northern section of Zamboanga del Norte.

Basyang is expected to move west northwest at 25 kph.

Pagasa said that sea travel remains risky over the seaboards of areas under TCWS, as well as the seaboards of Northern Luzon and of Visayas, eastern seaboards of Central Luzon, eastern and southern seaboards of Southern Luzon, and the northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao due to the tropical depression and the surge of the northeast monsoon. (SunStar Philippines)