By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz
The tropical depression east of Mindanao has slightly accelerated but maintained its strength while on its way towards the country on Saturday.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the cyclone at 1,585 kilometers east of Mindanao or outside the country’s area of responsibility around Saturday noon.
It has maintained its maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of 60 kph. It is moving west slightly faster at 25 kph.
PAGASA weather specialist Chris Perez said the cyclone will likely enter the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday and will be named “Samuel.”
It has no direct effect on any part of the country yet, Perez said, however the eastern sections of Visayas and Mindanao will begin to experience rains by Monday due to the outer circulation of the cyclone.
The weather disturbance may further intensify into a tropical storm as it continues to move generally westward in the next two to three days.
Meanwhile, this Sunday, the northeast monsoon will bring partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated light rains over the Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Cagayan Valley.
Metro Manila and the rest of the country will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers. PAGASA advised residents in these areas to be alert for possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms that may occur in the afternoon or evening.
PAGASA has not issued a gale warning but it advised sea vessels of moderate to occasionally rough seas over the coastlines of Luzon and eastern section of Visayas due to moderate to strong winds.
Meanwhile, only slight to moderate seas will prevail over the rest of the country.