By Christropher Lloyd T. Caliwan
MANILA, (PNA) — Tropical storm “Vinta” has further intensified on Wednesday afternoon as it moves towards extreme Northern Luzon, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
In a press briefing held in PAGASA, weather forecaster Chris Perez said the storm’s wind strength increased from 75 kilometers per hour (kph) Wednesday before noon to 85 kph in the afternoon, while its gustiness rose from 90 kph to 100 kph.
He added that in the next 24 hours Vinta is expected to be near in Northern Luzon as 19 provinces in Luzon are now under public storm warning signal no. 2 and 1.
He said the areas placed under public storm warning signal no. 2 (61-100 kph winds) are Cagayan including Calayan Group of Island and Babuyan Group of Island, IsabelaKalinga and Apayao .
Public storm warning signal no. 1 (30-60 kph winds), on the other hand, was hoisted over Ilocos Norte, Mt. ProvinceAbra, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Benguet, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Aurora, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija and Batanes Group of Islands .
“Residents in low-lying and mountainous areas under signals 3, 2 & 1 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides. Likewise, those living in coastal areas under signals 3 and 2 are alerted against storm surges,” PAGASA said.
PAGASA said Odette may bring rainfall of 5 to 10 mm per hour (moderate to heavy) within its 500-km diameter of the tropical storm.
The weather agency said that sea travel is risky over the northern and eastern seaboards of Luzon.
Perez said that as of 4 p.m. tropical storm Vinta was located at 610 km East of Ilagan, Isabela or 645 km East of Tuguegarao City (17.4°N, 128.3°E) and it is forecast to move West Northwest at 23 kph.
If it maintains its speed and direction, Perez said“Vinta” will exit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Friday afternoon.
Since the cyclone is just passing over the sea, he notedthat it may further intensify before it exits the Philippine territory.
Citing the numerical models,Perez said it isexpected to make landfall in Cagayan by Thursday morning.
Perez said that in the next 24 hours, the provinces of Isabela, Apayao, Kalinga and Cagayan including Babuyan and Calayan Group of Islands will experience stormy weather with rough to very rough seas.
He added that Ilocos Region, the rest of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and the provinces of Aurora, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija and Batanes will have rains and gusty winds with moderate to rough seas.
Perez also said that Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon and Mindanao will have cloudy skies with light to moderate rainshowers and thunderstorms. Visayas will be partly cloudy to cloudy with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms mostly in the afternoon or evening.