MANILA - State weather bureau PAGASA on Thursday warned of possible landslides in the Cordillera region as tropical storm "Gorio" continued to enhance the southwest monsoon or habagat.
The habagat is expected to bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains over large portions of Luzon, Metro Manila and Western Visayas, PAGASA administrator Vicente Malano said in an 11 a.m. press conference.
"Habang umaangat kasi itong bagyo, umaangat din ang access ng habagat... Ang babantayan po natin ay ang Cordillera area dahil may mga area kasi dyan na landslide-prone," Malaon said.
Gorio was last spotted 615 km east of Tuguegarao City at 10 a.m. It was packing top sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 105 kph, added PAGASA Marine Meteorology chief Rene Paciente.
FLOODS, DAMS RISING
The weather disturbance, PAGASA said, may also trigger floods in the regions of Ilocos, Central Luzon, Cordillera, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and Western Visayas.
Incessant rains have caused the water level at Ipo Dam in Bulacan to rise to 100.85 meters, just about a centimeter short of its spilling level, said PAGASA hydrologist Richard Orendain.
Water from Ipo Dam, Orendain said, is now being diverted to the Angat Dam.
Water level at the Marikina River, meanwhile, has reached 14.7 meters, just 3 centimeters below the 15-meter "warning" level, Orendain added.
Bad weather has also forced the suspension of classes in several areas and schools, as well as the cancellation of several flights.
Gorio is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility late Monday if it continues moving north northwest at 9 kph, PAGASA earlier said.
No tropical cyclone warning signal has been raised so far.
"Wala po tayong signal dahil hindi po tayo directly affected by winds na nanggaling kay Gorio. Ang hangin na andito sa atin ngayon is more on enhanced habagat o southwesterly winds," Malano reasoned.
Malacanang on Thursday suspended work in all government offices in Metro Manila effective 1 p.m.
Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said classes in all levels in public schools have also been suspended. Private schools may suspend classes at their discretion, Abella added.
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