MANILA - The first weather system to hit the country this year has intensified into a tropical storm as it continued to move away from the Philippines, state weather bureau PAGASA said Wednesday.
Agaton (international name: Bolaven) was tracked 390 kms west northwest of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan at 10 a.m. Wednesday, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kms per hour and 80 kph gusts, PAGASA said.
The storm had made 6 landfalls in Visayas and Mindanao, pummeling areas still reeling from back-to-back storms during the holidays before moving towards the West Philippine Sea on Wednesday.
Central and southern Philippines bore the brunt of tropical storms Urduja (Ka-tak) and Vinta (Tembin), which struck just days apart before Christmas, leaving close to 300 people dead and scores missing in floods and landslides.
Agaton was expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility at noon Wednesday if it continued to move at 25 kph.
Its trough or extension, however, will continue to bring moderate to heavy rains in Palawan, where it had made its last landfall late Tuesday, PAGASA warned.
The provinces of Quezon, Rizal and Aurora will also experience occasional heavy rains due to the tail end of a cold front.
Residents in these areas and those in Palawan should be on alert for possible landslides and floods, the weather agency added.
The northeast monsoon or amihan, meanwhile, will dump scattered rains over Cagayan Valley and Cordillera. Isolated rains may be expected in Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, PAGASA said.
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