Josie gathers strength, monsoon rains threaten SONA


Posted at Jul 22 2018 09:19 AM | Updated as of Jul 23 2019 02:50 PM

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MANILA - (5th UPDATE) Tropical Depression Josie may intensify as it enhances the habagat or southwest monsoon, which will bring rains in large parts of the country until Monday, when President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his third State of the Nation Address (SONA), the weather bureau said Sunday.

The storm, which has triggered a state of calamity in some areas, was spotted at 330 kilometers northeast of Basco, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds o 55 kilometers per hour and 65 kph gusts, PAGASA said.

Josie made landfall over Fuga Island off the country's northern tip late Saturday. It may intensify into a tropical storm as it moves away from the country between Sunday afternoon and Monday morning, meteorologist Ezra Bulquerin told radio DZMM. 

Stirred by the storm, the habagat will bring rains over Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Ilocos and Cordillera regions, the rest of Cagayan Valley and Western Visayas, as well as the provinces of Cavite, Batangas, Rizal, Laguna, Mindoro and Northern Palawan including Calamian islands, PAGASA said. 

A red rainfall warning, the highest in a 3-step alert, was raised at 4 p.m. in Cavite, Batangas and Bataan. This means that severe flooding is expected and residents should take precautionary measures, PAGASA said. 

The second highest orange warning, meanwhile, was up over Metro Manila, Zamabales and Laguna, where floods are "threatening" and may enter houses, it added. 

Rizal was under the lowest yellow rainfall alert, which means rains may trigger floods in low-lying areas, said PAGASA. 

On Monday, western sections of Luzon and Visayas, including Metro Manila, will continue experiencing cloudy skies with isolated rains and thunderstorms due to the habagat, Bulquerin said. 

The weather office, he said, is monitoring a low pressure area outside the country. It is unlikely to hit land, but may strengthen into a storm. 

Josie, the fourth storm to hit the country this month, came days 
after severe tropical storm Inday inundated large sections of Luzon. 

The bad weather has forced the cancellation of Monday's classes in some areas. 

Visit the ABS-CBN Weather Center for the latest weather updates.