'Maring' intensifies into a severe tropical storm; over 20 Luzon areas remain under wind signals


Tropical cyclone "Maring" (international name "Kompasu") has intensified into a severe tropical storm hours before its expected close approach or landfall over the extreme portion of northern Luzon on Monday, Oct. 11.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) maintained that Maring may traverse across the Luzon Strait between Monday afternoon and Tuesday early morning, Oct. 12, and pass "very close or over the Babuyan Islands" Tuesday evening.

However, PAGASA has not ruled out the possibility of landfall over mainland northern Cagayan or a close approach over Batanes.

Regardless of where exactly the center makes landfall, Maring is a large cyclone and as a result, it may bring heavy to intense rains and strong winds over a large portion of Luzon.

As of 10 a.m., Monday, the center of the severe tropical storm was located 240 kilometers (km) east of Aparri, Cagayan, or 265 km east-southeast of Calayan, Cagayan.

Maring is now packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 115 kph while moving westward at 15 kph.

Due to the anticipated passage of Maring, tropical cyclone wind signal number 2 remains hoisted over Batanes, Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, northern portion of Isabela, Apayao, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Abra, Ilocos Norte, and Ilocos Sur.

Signal No. 1 is also still in effect in the rest of Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, northern portion of Bataan, northern portion of Quezon including Polillo Islands, and Calaguas Islands.

Maring brings heavy to intense rains, strong winds, rough seas

PAGASA said Maring will bring moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Batanes, Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Ilocos Region.

Light to moderate rains with at times heavy rains may also prevail over Central Luzon and the rest of Cagayan Valley.

Tropical storm Maring is also expected to enhance the southwest monsoon or "habagat" and bring rains over Western Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Palawan, and Occidental Mindoro in the next 24 hours.

PAGASA advised affected residents to remain vigilant against possible isolated scattered flooding, including flash floods, and rain-induced landslides especially those in areas that are highly susceptible to these hazards.

Moreover, gale-to-storm-force strength winds may prevail in areas where Signal No. 2 is currently in effect.

Strong winds with higher gusts may also persist in areas under Signal No. 1.

However, due to the expansive wind field of the tropical storm and the gradual enhancement of the southwesterlies and northeasterlies, PAGASA said that occasional gusts may also affect the coastal and upland or mountainous areas of Visayas, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Norte, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Camiguin, Zamboanga del Norte, and the rest of Luzon even in the absence of wind signals.

In the next 24 hours, rough to high seas, up to 2.5 to 7.5 meters high, will be experienced over the seaboards of areas Signal Nos. 2 and 1.

"These conditions are risky for all types of sea vessels. Mariners are advised to remain in port or take shelter in port until winds and waves subside," it warned.

PAGASA said Maring intensified into a severe tropical storm at 8 a.m. on Monday, and may further intensify into a typhoon while over the West Philippine Sea by Tuesday.

Maring will likely leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Tuesday afternoon or evening, PAGASA said.