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‘Ofel’ may still intensify into storm

Tropical Depression “Ofel” continued to move westward Wednesday toward Oriental Mindoro, as state weather forecasters said it was likely to intensify into a tropical storm.

As of 8 p.m., the center of “Ofel” was between the provinces of Marinqudue and Romblon, after hitting land at Burias Island in Masbate at noon Wednesday.

Packing maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 55 km/h, it was moving westward at 15 km/h.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) maintained that “Ofel” may pass close or over Romblon and Mindoro provinces, and that Ofel may exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Friday.

Tropical cyclone wind signal no. 1 was in effect over Batangas, southern portion of Laguna, the central and southern portions of Quezon, Calamian Islands, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, and Masbate, including Ticao and Burias Islands.

Ofel and the southwest monsoon will also cause light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Central Luzon, the Visayas, Mindanao, Metro Manila, Palawan, Cagayan, Isabela, and the rest of the Bicol Region.

Flashfloods and rain-induced landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall, especially in areas highly susceptible to these hazards, the weather bureau said.

Strong to near gale force winds will be experienced in those areas, according to PAGASA.

Occasional gusts will continue over Batanes, the northern and eastern portions of Cagayan (including the Babuyan Islands), the northern portion of Apayao, Ilocos Norte, and Quezon, and the eastern portion of Isabela, and Aurora.

Gale warning is still in effect over the seaboards of Batanes and Ilocos Norte, and the northern seaboard of Cagayan, including the Babuyan Islands, due to rough seas.

Moderate to rough seas continue to prevail over the eastern seaboards of Luzon and the Visayas, PAGASA said.

Topics: Tropical Depression “Ofel” , Oriental Mindoro , tropical storm , PAGASA

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