‘Pepito’ may make landfall in Northern, Central Luzon; Signal No. 1 up over Isabela, Aurora

Published October 19, 2020, 12:20 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has raised tropical cyclone Signal No. 1 over eastern Isabela and northern Aurora before Monday noon as tropical depression “Pepito” could make landfall over Northern Luzon Central Luzon area between Tuesday and Wednesday.


In its severe weather bulletin issued at 11 a.m. on Monday, PAGASA hoisted Signal No. 1 over Palanan, Dinapigue, and in the eastern portion of San Mariano in Isabela, and Dinalungan, Casiguran, and Dilasag in Aurora. 

Based on available meteorological data, Signal No. 1 may also be raised over the eastern portion of Quirino and other areas in Isabela and Aurora in the next bulletin at 5 p.m. “Pepito” was at 475 kilometers (km) east of Virac, Catanduanes around 10 a.m., with maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 55 kph. 

It is moving fast at 30 kph westward. 

PAGASA said the tropical depression will likely intensify into a tropical storm before it makes landfall. 

Should it maintain its forecast track, “Pepito” will make landfall over the eastern part of Northern Luzon-Central Luzon between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, then traverse the landmass, before re-emerging over the West Philippine Sea. 

After crossing the landmass of Luzon, “Pepito” may further intensify over the West Philippine Sea and may reach severe tropical storm category by Thursday, PAGASA said. 

As early as Monday, light to moderate with at times heavy rains will be felt over Quezon, Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Masbate, Biliran, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Northern Samar, West Samar, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Dinagat Islands, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao Occidental, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, and Sarangani. 

PAGASA warned of possible flooding or rain-induced landslides during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards. 

Areas under Signal No. 1 may also experience occasional gusts in the next 36 hours. 

The northeasterly surface windflow partly enhanced by tropical depression “Pepito” may also bring strong-force to near gale-force winds with occasional wind gusts over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the coastal and mountainous areas of northern Ilocos Norte, Apayao, Cagayan, Isabela, Aurora, Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, and Northern Samar. 

A gale warning is in effect over the seaboards of Batanes, Cagayan, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and Isabela due to rough to very rough seas with waves reaching up to 2.8 to 4.5 meters. 

Sea travel is risky over these areas, especially for those using small boats, PAGASA warned. 

Moderate to rough seas with waves that may reach 1.5 to 3 meters will be experienced in the next 24 hours over the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon and Bicol Region and the seaboards of Northern Samar and Eastern Samar. 

PAGASA advised that those using small boats should take necessary precautionary measures while venturing out to sea. 

The weather bureau said “Pepito” will be at 370 km east of Casiguran, Aurora by Tuesday morning; 95 km west-northwest of Dagupan City in Pangasinan by Wednesday morning; and at 445 km west of Dagupan City or outside the Philippine area of responsibility by Thursday morning.