MANILA (UPDATE) - State weather bureau PAGASA placed more areas under tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) No. 1 early Wednesday as tropical depression Ofel continued to advance towards the Samar provinces.
As of 1:00 a.m. Wednesday, Ofel was 30 kilometers east-northeast of Borongan, Eastern Samar, packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour near the center and 55 kph gusts, PAGASA said.
It was moving northwest at 10 kph.
According to PAGASA's latest weather bulletin, Ofel may possibly make landfall over Eastern-Northern Samar area on Wednesday morning, then may move over the seas of Southern Luzon and pass over Masbate, Romblon and Mindoro Provinces.
The storm is forecast to reach tropical storm category by Thursday morning after crossing Mindoro Island, it said.
Ofel is expected to dump moderate to heavy rains over the Bicol Region, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, southern Quezon, Marinduque, and Romblon.
Light to moderate with at times heavy rains may affect Metro Manila, Mindoro Provinces, and the rest of Calabarzon and Eastern Visayas, PAGASA said.
The storm, PAGASA pointed out, may cause flooding and rain-induced landslides during heavy and continuous rainfall "especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards."
The agency raised tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) No. 1 in the following areas, where 30-60 kph winds may rip roofs off nipa and cogon huts, damage rice crops and down banana plants:
- Southern portion of Quezon (San Francisco, San Andres, San Narciso, Mulanay, Catanauan, Buenavista,Guinayangan, Tagkawayan, Calauag, Quezon, Alabat, Perez, Atimonan, Unisan, Padre Burgos, Agdangan, Plaridel, Gumaca, Lopez, General Luna, Macalelon, Pitogo)
- Camarines Norte
- Camarines Sur
- Masbate (including Ticao and Burias Islands)
- Northern Samar
- Eastern Samar
- northern portion of Leyte (Tabango, Leyte, San Isidro, Calubian, Capoocan, Carigara, Jaro, Pastrana, Dagami, Tabontabon, Tanauan, Palo, Santa Fe, Alangalang, Tacloban City, Babatngon, San Miguel, Barugo, Tunga)
PAGASA said Signal no. 1 may also be raised over the Mindoro provinces, oareas in southern Quezon, and the southern portion of Batangas.
Ofel is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility by Friday.
Visit the ABS-CBN Weather Center for updates.