MANILA (3rd UPDATE) — Agaton has weakened into a tropical depression, but will continue to bring rains in large swaths of the country on Monday, state weather bureau PAGASA said.
In an 11 a.m. advisory, PAGASA said Agaton was "almost stationary" over waters off Tanauan, Leyte. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour and 60 kph gusts.
PAGASA raised Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 1 over the following areas, where 30-61 kph winds may slightly damage houses made of light materials.
• Southern portion of Masbate: Dimasalang, Palanas, Cataingan, Pio V. Corpuz, Esperanza, Placer, and Cawayan
• Eastern Samar
• Northern Samar
• Southern Leyte
• Northeastern portion of Cebu, including Camotes Island: Daanbantayan, San Remigio, Medellin, City of Bogo, Tabogon, Borbon, Sogod, Catmon, Carmen, Danao City, Compostela, and Liloan
• Eastern portion of Bohol: Getafe, Talibon, Bien Unido, Trinidad, Ubay, San Miguel, Pres. Carlos P. Garcia, and Mabini
• Surigao del Norte
• Dinagat Islands
PAGASA added that moderate to heavy with at times intense rains were forecast over Sorsogon, Masbate, Romblon, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, the northern and central portions of Cebu including Bantayan and Camotes Islands, the northern portion of Negros Oriental, the northern portion of Negros Occidental, Aklan, Capiz, Iloilo, Antique, and Guimaras.
Light to moderate with at times heavy rains will also be experienced Monday over Dinagat Islands, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Quezon, and the rest of Bicol Region and Visayas.
National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Center (NDRRMC) spokesperson Mark Timbal said more than 45,000 people have been affected by Agaton's onslaught.
The NDRRMC is verifying reports of fatalities due to the storm, Timbal said in an interview on ANC's "Rundown".
"Currently po, we have received a report and this is undergoing validation, the death of one person d'yan po sa (there in) Mindanao area as a result of a drowning incident due to the flooding situations encountered po," the official said.
"We also have 2 reports of injuries in Mindanao due to the flooding situation. There are some reports po na this morning may additional daw po tayong kababayan na nasawi (we have additional fatalities), but we’re still waiting for the official head count and reports coming from our regional counterparts po," he added.
Agaton has left nearly P900,000 in damage to homes and agriculture, Timbal said.
The Philippine Coast Guard said some 2,973 persons were stranded in ports across the country due to rough waters.
In a statement, the Palace said there are 201 affected barangays with 3,717 displaced families inside 71 evacuation centers in Regions 6, 7, 8, 10,11,12, CARAGA and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
Fifteen cities and municipalities lost power at the peak of the storm's onslaught, but it has been restored in 4 of these areas, Malacañang said.
Acting Presidential Spokesperson Martin Andanar called on the public to stay updated by reading the latest weather bulletins and work closely with local officials to ensure their safety.
Agaton is expected to remain a tropical depression as it slowly passes over the vicinity of northeastern Leyte and the southern portions of Samar and Eastern Samar before emerging over the Philippine Sea by Tuesday evening, PAGASA said.
It is expected to weaken as it interacts and assimilates with a stronger cyclone with an international name of “Malakas,” eventually becoming a low pressure area on Wednesday.
PAGASA will issue its next advisory on tropical depression Agaton at 2 PM.
— With reports from Benise Balaoing and Raffy Cabristante, ABS-CBN News