LPA approaching Eastern Mindanao; may develop into TD ‘Agaton’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 31 December) — A low pressure area (LPA) is approaching Eastern Mindanao and may develop into tropical depression ‘Agaton,’ the state weather bureau said.

In its weather advisory issued at 4 a.m., the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the LPA as of 3 a.m. Sunday, December 31, was estimated at 960 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur while a tail-end of a cold front is affecting Bicol region and Eastern Visayas. Northeast Monsoon affecting Northern and Central Luzon.

In its ‘Weather Advisory No. 1 for Low Pressure Area,’ the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMIC) said that as of 10 a.m., the LPA was spotted at 910 km east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur and  is expected to develop into a tropical depression within the next 48 hours.

“It may cross Mindanao beginning Monday (January 1) until Tuesday (January 2) and bring moderate to heavy rains which may trigger flash flood and landslides,” it said.

The advisory noted that if the LPA develops into a tropical depression, maritime operatiosn along the eastern seaboard of Mindanao — Surigao, Davao Orietnal, Dinagat Islands, and Siargao) and the eastern seaboard of Leyte provinces will be disrupted.

NDRRMC Executive Director Ricardo Jalad directed the DRRMCs nationwide to monitor the situation and undertake precautionary measures.

PAGASA on December 29 issued a Special Weather Outlook for December 30 to January 2 indicating that an LPA which may develop into a tropical depression is expected to pass over Mindanao and “will bring moderate-occasionally intense rains and gusty winds over the area along its path.”

Light to moderate rainshowers and isolated thunderstorms are expected over Mindanao until December 31 while moderate to occasionally intense rains with gusty winds are expected New Year’s Day until January 2 “as the LPA/TD approaches and makes landfall over Eastern Mindanao.”

PAGASA warned flash flood and landslides are possible over Davao Region, Caraga, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Samar and Leyte and sea travel is risky due to big waves associated with the possible effects of LPA/TD over Mindanao.

On December 22, severe tropical storm Vinta made landfall in Cateel, Davao Oriental and moved westward, leaving at least 214 persons dead in Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur and Zamboanga del Norte and thousands fleeing to evacuation centers in their areas. (MindaNews)