MANILA (2nd UPDATE) – Severe Tropical Storm Siony maintained its strength as it edged closer over Batanes and Babuyan Islands Thursday afternoon, PAGASA said.
Siony was last seen 360 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 115 kph, the national weather agency said in its 2 p.m. bulletin.
Moving westward at 25 kph, the storm may hit land or graze over Batanes and Babuyan Islands Friday morning. It is forecast to reach typhoon category with a peak intensity of 120 kph.
Tropical cyclone wind signal number 2, where 61 to 120 kph winds are expected within 24 hours and may damage wooden and old electric posts, remains hoisted over the following areas:
The following areas are under tropical cyclone warning signal number 1, where 30 to 60 kph winds may rip roofs off nipa and cogon huts, damage rice crops and down banana plants:
- Northern portion of mainland Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga, Lal-Lo, Allacapan, Santa Teresita, Buguey, Camalaniugan, Aparri, Ballesteros, Abulug, Pamplona, Sanchez-Mira, Claveria, Santa Praxedes)
- Northern portion of Apayao (Santa Marcela, Luna, Calanasan)
- Northern portion of Ilocos Norte (Adams, Pagudpud, Bangui, Dumalneg, Burgos, Vintar, Pasuquin, Bacarra)
PAGASA said Siony may leave the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) Friday afternoon or evening and was expected to gradually weaken due to increasingly unfavorable conditions over the West Philippine Sea associated with a northeasterly surge.
In the next 24 hours, the trough or extension of Siony will bring scattered light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Metro Manila, Pangasinan, most parts of Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol region, Visayas, and Mindanao.
Moderate to heavy rains due to Siony will begin affecting Batanes and Babuyan Islands Friday early morning.
Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba said his province had prepared for Siony even as it continued to reel from floods brought by a recent frontal system.
Power and communication lines continue to function in the province so far, he added.
"Handa naman tayo because this is happening to us every year po, sa totoo lang (we're ready because this happens to us every year)," he said in a virtual press briefing.
"We face itong disaster na darating sa atin pero ‘wag ho natin kalimutan nand'yan din ho si COVID kaya importante po ang minimum health standards, mas lalo pa nating paigtingin," he told his constituents.
(We face this incoming disaster but let's not forget COVID-19 is still here, which is why it's important to comply with minimum health standards.)
Senior weather specialist Chris Perez, in a press briefing at 11 a.m., said the state weather bureau was also monitoring a brewing storm spotted 1,955 kilometers east of Surigao City.
The new low-pressure area (LPA) is expected to enter PAR over the weekend but unlikely to develop into a tropical cyclone, he said.
Perez said the weather disturbance however may affect the weather condition over most parts of the country, including Metro Manila.