Cyclone may hit Mindanao on Christmas

By Dharel Placido,

Posted at Dec 19 2012 03:40 PM | Updated as of Dec 20 2012 01:29 AM

MANILA, Philippines – A potential tropical cyclone may enter the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Sunday and bring fresh rains on Christmas to areas devastated by typhoon "Pablo", a state weather forecaster said.

MTSAT ENHANCED-IR Satellite Image 2:30 p.m., 19 December 2012

Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) forecaster Ricky Fabregas said a cluster of clouds, already considered by other weather agencies as a low-pressure area (LPA), is hovering east of the Philippines in the Pacific Ocean.

The cloud formation, which may develop into a tropical cyclone as it continues to gather strength over water, is expected to hit eastern Visayas and northern Mindanao.

"Ito ay medyo may kalayuan pa. Pero ito ay patuloy na mino-monitor dito sa PAGASA. Sa ngayon, nagbababala na kami dito sa maaaring epekto nito kung sakaling pumasok ito sa PAR. Kung patuloy ito sa pagkilos niya ng pa-kanluran, at base sa pag-aanalisa, maari itong pumasok sa Linggo," Fabregas told dzMM.

Fabregas said the potential cyclone will have no direct effect to any part of the country once it enters PAR.

The rains, if the weather disturbance maintains its strength, will be felt in the following days, resulting in a rainy December 24 and 25 for the southern portion of the country still reeling from Pablo's devastation.

If the new weather disturbance develops into a cyclone, it will be named "Quinta".

Pablo, which slammed into Mindanao about two weeks ago, has already claimed 1,047 lives. This figure is expected to rise as 841 remain missing.

Latest data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council pegged the damage from the typhoon at P24.2 billion – P7.82 billion for infrastructure; P16.35 billion for agriculture; and P49.23 million for private property.