‘Ofel’ makes 4th landfall in Marinduque signal 1 up in 15 areas in Luzon

Published October 15, 2020, 12:37 AM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

More areas in Luzon were placed under storm warning signal 1 after Tropical Depression “Ofel” made its fourth landfall in Marinduque on Wednesday night, the state weather bureau said. 

In its 11 p.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the center of Ofel made landfall over Torijos town in Marinduque at 7:45 p.m.

Prior to this, the tropical depression had already made landfalls in Can-avid, Eastern Samar; Matnog, Sorsogon; and Burias Island, Masbate also on Wednesday.

According to PAGASA, Ofel was last spotted off 55 kilometers northeast of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro, or 35 kilometers south of Tayabas, Quezon, and has maintained its strength with maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 55 kph.

Based on its track, PAGASA said Ofel slightly turned northwest while moving at 20 kph. It may pass close or over Batangas or the northern portion of Mindoro provinces between Wednesday night and Thursday morning. 

Ofel is forecast to remain a tropical depression for the next 12 to 24 hours and may further intensify into a tropical storm while over the West Philippine Sea the exit the country on Friday, PAGASA added. 

Meanwhile, a tropical cyclone wind signal number 1 remains hoisted in Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, Quezon, Metro Manila, Bataan, Calamian Islands, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Camarines Norte, the western portion of Camarines Sur, (Cabusao, Libmanan, Pamplona, Pasacao, Sipocot, Lupi, Ragay, Del Gallego), and Burias Island as of Wednesday night. 

PAGASA said winds of 30 to 60 kilometers per hour or intermittent rains may be expected in at least 36 hours on areas where storm warning signal number 1 was raised. 

The state weather agency said Ofel will bring moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, the northern portion of Quezon, Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan until Thursday afternoon.

While light to moderate with at times heavy rains will be experienced over Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and the rest of Central Luzon and CALABARZON due to the tropical depression and the southwest monsoon or “habagat.”

With this, PAGASA warned the public that “flooding, including flash floods, as well as rain-induced landslides, may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards.”

PAGASA also raised a gale warning over the entire seaboards of Northern Luzon and Aurora due to rough seas associated with the northeasterly surface wind flow. 

Moderate to rough seas due to Ofel will also be experienced over the eastern seaboards of Luzon and Visayas in the next 24 hours, especially in areas where a storm warning signal is in effect.

PAGASA warned that sea travel is risky, especially for small sea crafts, over seaboards where a gale warning was raised due to rough sea conditions and wave height of up to 4.0 meters.

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. More rains are expected in the coming months according to PAGASA due to the onset of La Niña.