PH’s first cyclone ‘Auring’ threatens Caraga region

Published February 17, 2021, 1:46 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

The tropical depression east of Mindanao has entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) Wednesday morning, Feb. 17, and was named “Auring.”


The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) estimated the location of tropical depression Auring at 900 kilometers (km) east-southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur around 10 a.m., Wednesday.

It has maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph. 

It could further intensify into a tropical storm before its landfall over Caraga region between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, PAGASA weather specialist Joey Figuracion said.

PAGASA said Auring will move generally west or west-southwest in the next 12 hours. Afterward, it will move generally west-northwest before its anticipated landfall.

Figuracion pointed out that Auring has no effect yet over the country, as of Wednesday morning.

The tail-end of frontal system continues to bring moderate to heavy rains over Eastern Visayas, Sorsogon, Masbate, Albay, Catanduanes and light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Central Visayas, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and the rest of Bicol region. 

PAGASA warned those in these areas to stay alert against possible isolated flooding and rain-induced landslides due to heavy rainfall or prolonged periods of rainfall.

Likewise, adjacent or nearby areas were advised to remain vigilant as they may experience flooding even in the absence of such rainfall occurrence due to surface runoff or swelling of river channels.

PAGASA OIC Deputy Administrator for Research and Development Esperanza Cayanan urged the public, especially those in the Visayas and Mindanao, to take the necessary precautionary measures due to heavy rains and gusty conditions associated with the passage of Auring by Friday until Monday, Feb. 19-22.

“Maaga tayo nagpaabiso dahil kailangan mag-prepare. Sa ngayon, maganda pa ang panahon in some portions of Mindanao pero may mga nakakaranas na ng pagbaha dahil sa kasalukuyang umiiral na shearline o tail-end of frontal system. Kailangan na maghandang mabuti dahil by Friday ang bagyo na ang nakikita natin na magdadala ng mga pag-ulan dito at posibleng magdulot ng flash floods at landslides dito. (We have advised the public early because we need to prepare. Right now, the weather is still good in some portions of Mindanao but some are already experiencing flooding due to the existing shearline or tail-end of frontal system. We need to prepare for this cyclone before it begins to bring rains by Friday, which may cause flash floods and landslides in this area),” Cayanan said in a press conference held Wednesday.

In anticipation of the arrival of strong breeze to near-gale conditions due to Auring, Figuracion said tropical cyclone wind signal number 1 may be raised over several provinces of Caraga and Davao region as early as Friday.

By Thursday, Feb. 18, Auring is expected at 680 km east-southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur; by Friday morning, Feb. 19 at 515 km east-southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur; and by Saturday morning, Feb. 20 at 290 km east-southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

Figuracion said Auring will likely be in the vicinity of Jabonga, Agusan del Norte by Sunday morning, Feb. 21; and in the vicinity of Maasin, Iloilo by Monday morning, Feb. 22.