‘Quinta’ gathers strength, may make landfall over Bicol

Published October 24, 2020, 12:15 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Tropical depression “Quinta” is seen to steadily intensify and become a severe tropical storm ahead of its landfall over Bicol Region between Sunday evening and Monday morning. 

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has already raised tropical cyclone wind Signal No. 1 over Catanduanes before Saturday noon. 

Catanduanes may experience 30 to 60 kilometers per hour (kph) of winds or intermittent rains within 36 hours from the time the tropical cyclone warning has been raised.

Signal No. 1 may be also raised over Albay, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, and the eastern portion of Camarines Sur in the next bulletin at 5 p.m.

Around 10 a.m. Saturday, PAGASA last observed tropical depression “Quinta” at 660 kilometers (km) east of Catarman, Northern Samar or 730 km east of Juban, Sorsogon.

It is currently moving at 30 kilometers per hour (kph). 

PAGASA’s projection shows the cyclone moving generally west-northwest or northwest on Saturday, then turn west by Sunday morning through Monday towards Bicol. It may continue to move west and cross Southern Luzon on Monday on its way to the West Philippine Sea.

As “Quinta” is still over the sea, it could steadily intensify into a tropical storm (with maximum wind speed up to 62-88 kph) within 12 hours and may become a severe tropical storm (with maximum wind speed of 89-117 kph) prior to landfall, the weather bureau said.

So far, “Quinta” has maximum sustained winds of 55 kph and gustiness of up to 70 kph. 

After crossing the Philippine archipelago, the tropical cyclone may continue intensifying over the West Philippine Sea, PAGASA pointed out.

As early as Saturday, the trough or advancing clouds of Quinta, as well as the extension of severe tropical storm “Saudel” (formerly “Pepito” when it was still inside the PAR) will bring light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan, Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Masbate, most of Visayas, 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, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, and Surigao del Sur. 

Moreover, a stationary front currently extending over extreme Northern Luzon associated with the surge of cold northeasterly winds will bring moderate to heavy rains over Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and the northern portions of Apayao and Ilocos Norte.

A gale warning is in effect on Saturday over the seaboards of Northern Luzon, and the western seaboards of Central Luzon, Batangas, Occidental Mindoro, and northern Palawan including Calamian and Kalayaan Islands due to rough to very rough seas that may reach wave heights up to 2.8 to 6.0 meters.

Sea travel is suspended in these areas.

Moderate to rough seas, with waves that may reach 1.5 to 2.5 meters will prevail over the western seaboard of southern Palawan and the eastern seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon. 

PAGASA advised those using small boats to take necessary precautionary measures while venturing out to sea, while inexperienced mariners should avoid navigating in these conditions.