MANILA - State weather bureau PAGASA late Monday night placed 24 areas under signal no. 1 as tropical depression Samuel nears landfall.
In its 11 p.m. advisory, PAGASA said Samuel was last spotted 410 kilometers east northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.
Samuel has maintained it strength with top sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center with gusts of up to 65 kph.
The country's 19th storm this year is expected to make landfall over the Eastern Visayas-Caraga area on Tuesday night, PAGASA said.
Signal no. 1 was raised over the following areas, which may be whipped by 30 to 60 kph winds in 36 hours.
- Masbate, including Ticao Island
- Northern Samar
- Eastern Samar
- Southern Leyte
- Negros Oriental
- Negros Occidental
- Surigao del Norte
- Surigao del Sur
- Agusan del Norte
- Agusan del Sur
- Dinagat Islands
- Misamis Oriental
PAGASA said it may also raise signal no. 1 in Romblon and Cuyo Island in the next weather bulletin.
Residents in areas on the path of the tropical depression should brace for moderate to heavy rains, which may trigger flooding and landslides.
PAGASA had said Samuel's rains could be as heavy as that of tropical storm Urduja, which claimed at least 43 lives in December.
Classes on Tuesday have been suspended in some areas due to rains brought by Samuel.
Samuel is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Friday, PAGASA said.