‘Pepito’ places 21 areas, including Metro Manila, under Signal No. 1

Published October 20, 2020, 1:18 AM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

At least 21 areas, including Metro Manila, were placed under tropical cyclone wind Signal No. 1 on Monday evening, as tropical depression “Pepito” continues to threaten Northern and Central Luzon.

In its severe weather bulletin issued at 11 p.m., Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has raised Signal No. 1 over Metro Manila, Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, Metro Manila, Rizal, northern portion of Quezon (General Nakar, Infanta, Real) including Polillo Islands, northern portion of Camarines Norte (Vinzons), and Catanduanes.

Tropical depression “Pepito” was still over the Philippine Sea or 305 kilometers (km) east of Virac, Catanduanes. It has maintained its maximum winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 70 kph. 

PAGASA said the tropical depression may intensify into a tropical storm before making landfall over Aurora or Isabela between Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

After crossing the landmass of Luzon, “Pepito” could further intensify and may reach severe tropical storm category by Thursday.

Moderate to heavy rains may affect Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Masbate, Northern Samar, Quezon, Aurora, mainland Cagayan, and Isabela. 

Light to moderate with at times heavy rains will also prevail over Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Abra, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Apayao, Batanes, rest of Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales, Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Dinagat Islands, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Samar, Eastern Samar, Romblon, and Marinduque. 

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 within 36 hours after the first raising of wind signal.

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/or mountainous areas of mainland Cagayan, Apayao, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur.

A gale warning is in effect over the seaboards of Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and Isabela due to rough to very rough seas with waves reaching up to 2.8 to 5.0 meters.

The seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1 will also experience rough to very rough seas with waves that may reach 2.5 to 4.5 meters.

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

Meanwhile, moderate to rough seas with waves that may reach 1.5 to 3.0 meters will prevail over the western and eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon and the eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas, Caraga, and Davao Region.

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 45 km south-southwest of Casiguran, Aurora by Tuesday evening; 350 km west of Dagupan City in Pangasinan by Wednesday evening, and at 540 km west of Dagupan City or outside the Philippine area of responsibility by Thursday evening.