Tropical depression Ofel on Tuesday night maintained its strength while it moved slowly towards Northern and Eastern Samar, according to state weather bureau PAGASA.
As of 7:00 p.m., Ofel was 95 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour near the center and 55 kph gusts, PAGASA said.
According to PAGASA's latest weather bulletin, Ofel may possibly make landfall over Eastern-Northern Samar area on Wednesday morning, then over Sorsogon by Wednesday afternoon.
The storm is forecast to reach tropical storm category within 48 hours once it emerges over the West Philippine Sea, it said.
Ofel is expected to dump moderate to heavy rains over the Bicol Region, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, and the northern portion of Leyte.
Light to moderate with at times heavy rains would be experienced over Quezon, Romblon, and the rest of 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:
- Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands
- Northern Samar
- Eastern Samar
- Biliran, and the 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)
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