‘Ofel’ makes third landfall in Masbate; storm signal no. 1 up over 14 areas

Published October 14, 2020, 3:31 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

Tropical Depression “Ofel” made its third landfall on Wednesday noon and maintained its strength while moving towards Marinduque-Romblon area, the state weather bureau said.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in its latest bulletin that the center of Ofel hit the land of Burias Island in Masbate at 12 p.m., Wednesday.

Prior to this, PAGASA said that the tropical depression had already made landfalls on the same day — in Can-avid, Eastern Samar at 2:30 a.m., and in Matnog, Sorsogon at 6 a.m.

According to PAGASA, Ofel is forecast to remain a tropical depression while crossing the Southern Luzon area, but it is still likely to intensify into a tropical storm after emerging over the West Philippine Sea on Thursday morning.

After this, Ofel is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday morning or afternoon, the bureau added.

Meanwhile, 14 areas in Luzon remain under tropical cyclone wind signal number 1 as of 2 p.m. Friday, which include Batangas, the southern portion of Laguna (Luisiana, Majayjay, Liliw, Nagcarlan, Rizal, San Pablo City, Calauan, Alaminos, Los Baños, Bay, Magdalena), and the central and southern portions of Quezon (Guinayangan, Tagkawayan, Buenavista, San Narciso, San Andres, Mulanay, San Francisco, Catanauan, Lopez, Calauag, Quezon, Alabat, Perez, Atimonan, Tayabas City, Mauban, Sampaloc, Lucban, Gumaca, General Luna, Macalelon, Pitogo, Unisan, Plaridel, Padre Burgos, Agdangan, Pagbilao, Lucena City, Sariaya, Candelaria, Dolores, Tiaong, San Antonio).

Also placed under storm signal number 1 are Calamian Islands, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, and Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands.

Areas placed under signal number 1 will experience “winds of 30 to 60 kph or intermittent rains within 36 hours,” PAGASA said.

At 1 p.m., Wednesday, PAGASA said the center of the tropical depression was spotted off 105 kilometers west of Juban, Sorsogon, with maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 55 kph.

Ofel is moving westward at 10 kph, PAGASA said. Should the tropical depression maintained its current movement, the bureau said it is forecasted to be at 290 kilometers west of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro on Thursday morning.

Ofel is the 15th tropical cyclone to enter the country this year and the second this month after Tropical Storm “Nika.” At least two to three tropical cyclones are likely to enter PAR this October, PAGASA added.

The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually. PAGASA earlier said that more rains are expected in the coming months due to the onset of La Niña.