MANILA (UPDATE) - Tropical depression Emong is forecast to intensify within 12 hours and dampen Batanes and Babuyan Islands, the state weather bureau said Monday.
The country's fifth storm this year was last estimated 385 kilometers east northeast of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan at 7 a.m., moving northwest at 40 km per hour (kph) and packing maximum winds of 55 kph with gusts of up to 70 kph, PAGASA said in its 8 a.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.
Emong's intensification into a tropical storm is "being deterred by its high movement speed," PAGASA said.
After passing in 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 on Monday night, PAGASA said. It is expected to move generally northwestward until Monday night as it approaches the extreme Northern Luzon-Taiwan area, 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 state weather bureau added it was monitoring a low pressure area in the West Philippine Sea, last estimated 375 km west of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.
"Bagamat maliit ang tiyansa maging bagyo ay patuloy tayong magmomonitor," PAGASA weather forecaster Chris Perez told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.
(Though there's a small chance this will become a storm, we'll continue to monitor it.)