Tropical depression Obet has slightly accelerated as it moves west-southwest toward extreme Northern Luzon, according to the latest bulletin of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
In its 11 p.m. bulletin issued on Thursday, Oct. 20, PAGASA said Obet is moving west-southwest at a speed of 20 kilometers per hour (kph), while maintaining its maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center and gusts of up to 55 kph
Its location was estimated 555 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes at 10 p.m.
“On the track forecast, the center of Obet may traverse the Babuyan Islands-Batanes area on Saturday morning (Oct. 22). This tropical cyclone is also forecast to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Saturday evening,” PAGASA said.
Due to the expected strong winds from the approaching cyclone, Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 remains hoisted over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the northeastern portion of mainland Cagayan (Santa Ana and Gonzaga).
PAGASA said the highest possible wind signal that could be raised during the passage of Obet is still Signal No. 2. The cyclone may intensify into a tropical storm on Friday evening, Oct. 21, or early Saturday, Oct. 22.
Obet is also seen to bring moderate to heavy rains over Cagayan, Babuyan Islands, Apayao, and Batanes between Thursday evening and Friday noon.
Light to heavy rains are also possible over Ilocos Norte.
From Friday noon to early Saturday, PAGASA said moderate to intense rains may prevail over Batanes, the northern portion of Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte, while light to heavy rains are possible over Abra, Kalinga, the northern portion of Ilocos Sur, and the rest of Cagayan.
“Under these conditions, widespread and prolonged flooding and rain-induced landslides are expected, especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards as identified in hazard maps and in localities with significant antecedent rainfall,” PAGASA warned.