‘Pepito’ intensifies into a severe tropical storm

(Image grabbed from PAGASA’s Facebook page)

MANILA – “Pepito” has intensified into a severe tropical storm (STS) on Wednesday afternoon, and is forecast to gradually intensify over the West Philippine Sea, the weather bureau said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) expects Pepito to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday.

The STS was last seen 295 km. west of Dagupan City, Pangasinan, moving westward at 15 kph. It now packs maximum sustained winds of 95 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 115 kph.

Light to moderate – at times heavy rains are likely over Western Visayas, the Zamboanga Peninsula, Batanes, the Babuyan Islands, Zambales, Bataan, Occidental Mindoro, and Palawan, until Thursday.

Flooding and rain-induced landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall, especially in areas highly susceptible to these hazards.

As of 5 p.m., no tropical cyclone wind signal was hoisted on any part of the country. However, the northeasterly surface wind flow will cause high to gale force winds over Northern Luzon, especially in coastal and mountainous areas.

Gale warning is in effect due to rough to very rough seas over the seaboards of Northern and Central Luzon, the seaboard of northern Quezon including Polillo Island, and the western seaboards of Batangas, Occidental Mindoro (including Lubang Islands), and Palawan (including Calamian and Kalayaan Islands).

Moderate to rough seas continue to prevail over the eastern seaboards of southern Quezon, the Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, Caraga, and the Davao Region, PAGASA said. (PNA)

Maguindanao floods displace 10K residents

PAGALUNGAN, Maguindanao – More than 10,000 residents here were displaced by flash floods that hit this low-lying town on Tuesday.

The affected residents are now staying in temporary shelters along the national highway. Floods are recurring occurrence every time a heavy downpour spawned by a low-pressure area affects eastern Mindanao.

Pagalungan sits beside the Liguasan Marsh, a vast wetland encompassing the three provinces of Maguindanao, North Cotabato, and Sultan Kudarat. The marshland also serves as a “catch basin” of floodwaters from the Agusan and Kabacan rivers traversing the area.

“This is the worst flooding that I have experienced in my life here in Pagalungan,” Mayor Salik Mamasabulod of Pagalungan said in an interview Tuesday afternoon.

He said 11 of 12 barangays in Pagalungan have been underwater for the past four days now.

“It’s not deep but the water did not recede quickly as compared to previous floods,” Mamasabulod said, adding that they need immediate flood control projects with the help of both regional and national government.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the Bangsamoro Region in Muslim Mindanao reported that the floods have affected more than 200 hectares of land.

Food packs and safe drinking water with medicine have been pouring in for the displaced families from the BARMM government.

Despite the difficult situation, schoolchildren in Pagalungan continue their studies in their “makeshift homes,” Vice Mayor Abdillah Mamasabulod said.

“Modular learning continues even in evacuation sites, this is good because the education of our children was prioritized by their parents,” he said.

But life is hard for a Pagalungan resident who claimed she had been in the same situation many times in the past.

“I think more than a dozen already,” Myrna Samadudin, 40, said in vernacular during an interview beside her shanty along the Cotabato-Davao highway.

She noted that every time there is a typhoon and strong rains, the water level in Pagalungan will rise a few days later.

“That is why our valuables are already in the bag ready to move in case of emergency,” she said, pointing to her clothes and other valuables in piles of sacks ready for hauling.

BARMM Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim has mobilized all concerned regional government agencies to attend to the needs of affected families while directing the BARMM’s public works ministry to find ways how to prevent flooding in low-lying towns in Maguindanao. (PNA)

335 persons displaced by ‘Pepito’ in Aurora

MANILA – About 335 persons were displaced in Aurora province due to the effects of Tropical Storm “Pepito”, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said Wednesday.

Citing initial reports from the ground, Mark Cashean Timbal, NDRRMC spokesperson, said 253 of these individuals stayed in 13 evacuation centers set up by the provincial government.

He added that the NDRRMC is still awaiting reports of casualties due to “Pepito” which made landfall in Casiguran Tuesday night.

“As of this reporting, there is still no major untoward incident reported to the NDRRMC, there are no casualties yet,” Timbal said.

Timbal said 20 barangays in Pampanga reported floods from one to three feet deep.

Nineteen of these barangays are in Macabebe and one in Masantol, he added. (PNA) 

‘Pepito’ now a tropical storm, may make landfall Tuesday night

(Image grabbed from PAGASA’s Facebook page)

MANILA – “Pepito” has intensified into a tropical storm, and may make landfall over the coast of Aurora – Isabela area on Tuesday night, the weather bureau said in its latest bulletin posted around noon.

It may intensify further and reach the severe tropical storm category by Thursday, added the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

Pepito now packs a maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center, and gustiness of up to 80 kph. It was last tracked 295 km. east of Baler, Aurora, moving northwestward at 25 kph.

Tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) no. 2 was hoisted over La Union, Ifugao, Benguet, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Aurora, the southern portion of Isabela, southern portion of Ilocos Sur, northern portion of Zambales, and the northern portion of Quezon.

TCWS no. 1 was raised over Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Metro Manila, Rizal, the northern portion of Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, the rest of northern portion of Quezon, and the rest of Zambales.

High to gale force winds will be experienced in areas under TCWS no.2 and 1.

Moderate to heavy rains will be experienced over Bicol Region, Mimaropa, Quezon, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela, mainland Cagayan, Pangasinan, and Benguet.

Light to moderate with at times heavy rains will continue over Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon, Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, and BARMM.

Meanwhile, the northeasterly surface wind flow will continue to cause high to gale force winds with occasional gusts over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the coastal and/or mountainous areas of mainland Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte.

Gale warning is in effect over the seaboards of Batanes, Cagayan, and Ilocos Norte due to rough to very rough seas. The seaboards of areas under TCWS no. 2 and 1 will also experience rough to very rough seas.

Moderate to rough seas will prevail over the western and eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas, Caraga, and Davao Region, PAGASA said. (PNA)

‘Pepito’ will continue to drench most of PH Tuesday

MANILA – Many parts of the country will experience rains due to Tropical Depression (TD) Pepito, the weather bureau said on Tuesday.

In its 8 a.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Pepito still packs maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour near the center, and gustiness of up to 70 kph. The TD was last seen 375 km. east of Infanta, Quezon, or 385 km. east of Baler, Aurora.

Tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) No. 1 remains hoisted over Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Metro Manila, Rizal, the northern portion of Quezon, including Polillo Island, the extreme northern portion of Camarines Norte, and Catanduanes.

Pepito will bring moderate to heavy rains over the Bicol Region, Marinduque, Romblon, Quezon, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Isabela, mainland Cagayan, Pangasinan, and Benguet.

It will also cause light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Metro Manila, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Mimaropa, Western Visayas, the Zamboanga Peninsula, BARMM, Northern Mindanao, and the rest of Ilocos Region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa.

Flooding and rain-induced landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall, especially in areas highly susceptible to these hazards.

Strong to near gale force winds will be experienced in areas under Warning signal No. 1.

The northeasterly surface wind flow will cause “high to gale force winds” with occasional gusts over Batanes, the Babuyan Islands, and the coastal and/or mountainous areas of mainland Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte.

Gale warning is in effect over the seaboards of Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur due to rough to very rough seas.

The seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1 will also experience rough to very rough seas.

Moderate to rough seas will be experienced over the western and eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas, Caraga, and the Davao Region.

Pepito may likely exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday, PAGASA said. (PNA)

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