By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
More rains are expected until the weekend after the low-pressure area (LPA) east of the country developed into tropical depression “Inday,” which will likely to further enhance the effects of southwest or habagat.
With the forecast, a general flood advisory has been issued over several areas in Luzon and in the Visayas as threats of flooding remain high.
According to Esperanza Cayanan, chief of the Weather Division of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA),
Inday will bring intermittent moderate to occasional heavy monsoon rains over Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Apayao, Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga, and Bulacan. Scattered light to moderate with at times heavy monsoon rains is expected over Metro Manila, Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Cavite, Batangas, Laguna, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, and Tarlac until Friday.
Residents of these areas, especially those living in low-lying and mountainous areas, are advised to take appropriate actions against possible flooding and landslides, continue monitoring for updates, and coordinate with local disaster risk reduction and management offices.
PAGASA hydrologist Richard Orendain said areas under general flood advisory are: Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Bataan, Zambales, Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Palawan, Romblon, Antique, Aklan, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cagayan, Isabela, and Quirino.
Of the dams being monitored by PAGASA, only Ipo Dam has reached its spilling level. But Orendain said excess water from Ipo Dam is being diverted to La Mesa Dam, which is still way below its critical level.
As if mid-Wednesday, Inday was estimated at 660 kilometers east-southeast of Basco, Batanes, with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 65 kph.
It is the third cyclone to affect the country this month.
Inday will initially move east at 15 kph, then northeast within the next few days, Cayanan said.
Based on its latest track, Inday will not hit land but will continue to enhance the habagat, inducing more monsoon rains over a huge portion of Luzon, and parts of Visayas.
Cayanan said Inday will likely further intensify into a tropical storm within 24 hours. It may become a severe tropical storm after leaving the country’s area of responsibility by Saturday, she added.
Due to the habagat, Bicol Region and Visayas will have skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms.
Mindanao will experience cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers or thunderstorms due to localized thunderstorms.
Sea travel is risky over the western seaboard of Central and Southern Luzon due to rough to very rough seas associated with the surge of southwest monsoon.
Meanwhile, a fisherman in Batangas went missing as several parts of the country continue to be pounded by heavy rains.
A report reaching Camp Crame in Quezon City identified the victim as Antonio Cudiamat Jr., who was hit with a huge wave while fishing off the waters of Talisay, Batangas.
Cudiamat is the only casualty in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) but more than 1,000 persons were reported displaced by the heavy flooding. (With a report from Aaron Recuenco)