MANILA, Philippines – Tropical storm Pablo (international name Bopha) continues to weaken but may still make landfall in Ilocos Norte Sunday morning, state weather bureau PAGASA said.
PAGASA weather forecaster Chris Perez told DZMM TeleRadyo that Pablo was already on its way out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), but made a U-turn due to two weather systems located west of the country.
"Nag U-turn po itong bagyong si Pablo. Bagama't humihina na ito, inaasahan natin na posible pa ring mag-landfall sa Ilocos Norte," Perez said. "Ang inaasahan po natin ay posibleng nitong tawirin ang Ilocos, Aparri and Cagayan area within the next 24 hours."
"Malaking bagay 'yung isang umiiral na amihan dito sa hilagang Luzon. Posible pong bago makatawid ay malusaw na itong si Pablo o tuluyang humina habang binabaybay itong mga nabanggit na lugar," he added.
In its weather bulletin released at 5 a.m. Sunday, PAGASA said the center of Pablo was located 85 kilometers west of Laoag City.
Pablo bore maximum winds of 95 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 120 kph. It is expected to move east-northeast at a speed of 15 kph.
It is expected to be at 110 km east of Aparri, Cagayan by Monday morning.
Public Storm Warning Signal No. 2 is up over Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur and La Union, while Signal No. 1 has been hoisted over Cagayan, including the Calayang and Babuyan Group of Islands, the Batanes Group of Islands, Abra Apayao, Kalinga, Mt. Province, Benguet and Pangasinan.
Estimated rainfall amount is from 15-25-mm per hour within the 300-km diameter of the storm.
PAGASA has advised residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under public storm warnings signals to be alert against possible flashfloods and landslides.
Those living in coastal areas under public storm warning signal No. 2 are alerted against big waves or storm surges. Fishing boats and other sea vessels are advised not to venture out into the seaboard of Northern Luzon and the western seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon.
Pablo caused great destruction in Mindanao, where over 500 people have been killed and 500 others still missing. Over 200,000 people were left homeless. – Reports from Nikki delos Santos, DZMM, Agence-France Presse