MANILA— Weather disturbance Dante weakened into a tropical depression on Friday afternoon as it reentered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) following devastation in parts of the country at its peak as a tropical storm, the state weather bureau said.
In its 5 p.m. bulletin, PAGASA said the weather disturbance returned to the country's territory at 4 p.m. and is forecast to continue moving northeast.
It's center was last spotted 210 kilometers west northwest of Basco, Batanes or 185 kms west of Itbayat, Batanes.
The country's fourth storm this year, which has so far killed 6 and has caused over P63 million worth of agricultural damage, is currently packing winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center with gusts of up to 70 kph.
It is moving northeast at 20 kph.
PAGASA raised tropical cyclone wind Signal No. 1 over Batanes due to the development.
The weather agency maintained that a gale warning remained effective over Northern Luzon's northern seaboard, due to expected rough seas of 2.8 meters to 4 meters.
"Sea travel is risky for small seacraft over these waters. Mariners without the proper experience should immediately seek safe harbor," according to PAGASA.
Dante is projected to "make a close approach" or make landfall in southern Taiwan later in the day.
PAGASA also forecast Dante to become an extratropical cyclone on Saturday over the East China Sea.
Dante first entered PAR early Sunday.
Visit the ABS-CBN Weather Center for more updates.