MANILA (UPDATE) - Tropical depression Emong maintained its strength as it headed towards Batanes and Babuyan Islands on Monday morning, the state weather bureau said.
The country's fifth storm this year was last estimated 270 kilometers east Northeast of Aparri, Cagayan at 1 p.m., moving northwest at 20 km per hour (kph) and packing maximum winds of 55 kph with gusts of up to 70 kph, PAGASA said in its 2 p.m. bulletin.
It is forecast to bring moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Batanes and Babuyan Islands until Tuesday noon, according to PAGASA.
It might strengthen into a tropical storm in the next 12 hours, but intensification is "being deterred by its high movement speed," PAGASA said.
After passing through the vicinity of Extreme Northern Luzon as a tropical storm, it may weaken into a tropical depression due to its interaction with the rugged terrain of southern Taiwan, the weather bureau added.
Tropical cyclone wind signal no. 1, which may bring 30 to 60 kph winds in 36 hours and cause slight damage to houses made of very light materials or makeshift structures in exposed communities, remains hoisted over the following areas:
- northeastern portion of Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga) including Babuyan Islands.
The storm's center might pass close or over the vicinity of Batanes-Babuyan Islands area between Monday afternoon and evening, PAGASA said.
It is expected to move generally northwestward until Monday night as it approaches the extreme Northern Luzon-Taiwan area and leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Tuesday morning, it added.
PAGASA warned that rough to very rough seas (2.5 to 5.5 meters) will be experienced over the seaboards of areas under TCWS #1 and the remaining seaboard of Cagayan.
Sea travel is risky over these waters, especially for those using small seacrafts, it warned.
The low pressure area in the West Philippine Sea has left PAR as of 10 a.m., PAGASA weather forecaster Chris Perez said in a press briefing.