Signal No. 3 raised over parts of Cagayan, Isabela as ‘Florita’ intensifies into severe tropical storm


Tropical cyclone Florita (international name: Ma-on) further intensified into a severe tropical storm Tuesday morning, Aug. 23 and is now headed toward Isabela-Cagayan, where landfall is expected within the next few hours.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in its 5 a.m. bulletin said Florita was now packing maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 115 kph.

Florita’s location was estimated at 120 kilometers (km) east-northeast of Casiguran, Aurora at around 4 a.m.

“Severe tropical storm Florita will continue to gradually accelerate northwestward and is forecast to make landfall in the vicinity of the east coast of either Cagayan or northern Isabela this morning or early afternoon (Aug. 23). Afterwards, the storm will traverse northern Luzon and emerge over the West Philippine Sea tonight,” PAGASA said.

Due to the expected landfall, tropical cyclone wind signal number 3 was hoisted over the northern and eastern portions of mainland Cagayan and the eastern portion of Isabela.

Signal No. 2 was also raised over the rest of Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, the rest of Isabela, Quirino, eastern and central portions of Nueva Vizcaya, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, northern portion of Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and the northern and central portions of Aurora.

Moreover, Signal No. 1 was hoisted over Batanes, the rest of Nueva Vizcaya, the rest of Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, eastern portion of Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, the rest of Aurora, eastern portion of Pampanga, eastern portion of Bulacan, eastern portion of Rizal, northern portion of Quezon, including Polillo Islands, northern portion of Laguna, and Camarines Norte.

“Throughout the passage of Florita, winds may reach storm-force in strength in any of the areas where Signal No. 3 is hoisted, while winds may reach gale-force in strength in any of the areas where Signal no. 2 is hoisted. Strong winds (strong breeze to near gale strength) will be experienced within any of the areas where Signal no. 1 is currently in effect,” PAGASA said.

Likewise, “heavy to intense with at times torrential rains” are expected over Cagayan, Isabela, Cordillera Administrative Region, Ilocos Region, and Zambales.

“Moderate to heavy with at times intense rains” may also prevail over the northern portion of Aurora, Bataan, Tarlac, and the rest of Cagayan Valley, while “light to moderate with at times heavy rains” may affect Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Camarines Norte, and the rest of Central Luzon.

“Under these conditions, scattered to widespread flooding, including flash floods, and rain-induced landslides are expected especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazard as identified in hazard maps, and in localities with significant antecedent rainfall,” PAGASA warned.

It added that the enhanced southwest monsoon or “habagat” may bring rains over Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan, Western Visayas, and the rest of Bicol Region.

PAGASA said Florita will likely leave the Philippine area of responsibility on Wednesday morning, Aug. 24.