MANILA – Tropical depression Obet further accelerated on its way to Northern Luzon, the state weather bureau said early Friday.
In its 5 a.m. weather bulletin, PAGASA said Obet was sighted last at 335 km east of Basco, Batanes packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center with 55 kph gusts.
The state weather bureau maintained its placement of Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the northeastern portion of mainland Cagayan (covering the towns of Santa Ana and Gonzaga) under the tropical cyclone wind signal no. 1, where residents are advised to prepare for strong winds within the next 36 hours.
"Throughout the passage of PAGASA, strong winds (strong breeze to near gale strength) may be experienced within any of the areas where Wind Signal No. 1 is hoisted. However, the hoisting of Wind Signal No. 2 (for gale-force winds) remains possible should Obet reach tropical storm category prior or during its traverse of the Luzon Strait – a scenario that is not ruled out at this time," the agency said.
PAGASA also projected that on Friday through Saturday early morning, moderate to heavy with at times intense rains are likely in Batanes and Babuyan Islands and possible over the northern portions of Ilocos Norte, Apayao, and mainland Cagayan.
Light to moderate with at times heavy rains may also fall in the rest of Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte.
"Under these conditions, flooding and rain-induced landslides are likely, especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazard as identified in hazard maps and in localities with significant antecedent rainfall," PAGASA said.
Obet is likely to pass over or move very close to the Batanes-Babuyan Islands area between Friday afternoon and evening before leaving Philippine area of responsibility Saturday morning, it said.
"Obet is forecast to gradually intensify and may reach tropical storm category between tonight and tomorrow morning, although the possibility of a slightly earlier intensification to tropical storm category is not ruled out," PAGASA added.
Check the ABS-CBN Weather Center for more updates.