Storm signal 1 raised over 16 Mindanao provinces, 23 cities as ‘Agaton’ nears landfall

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 01 January) — Sixteen of 27 Mindanao provinces and 23 of its 33 cities have been placed under storm signal 1 as the low pressure area, now tropical depression ‘Agaton,” nears landfall in Caraga region and is forecast to move west as severe tropical storm ‘Vinta’ did on December 22.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in its SevereWeather Bulletin 1 issued at 5 p.m. Monday said Signal 1 has been raised over Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte including Siargao Island and Surigao del Sur in Caraga region; Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur and Compostela Valley in the Davao region; North Cotabato in Region 12; and Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, Camiguin and Bukidnon in Northern Mindanao; and Lanao del Sur in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao.

The 23 cities under these 16 provinces are Bayugan, Bislig, Butuan, Cabadbaran, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, Digos, El Salvador, Gingoog, Iligan, Kidapawan, Malaybalay, Marawi, Mati, Oroquieta, Ozamiz, Panabo, Samal, Surigao, Tagum, Tandag, Tangub and Valencia.

In the Visayas, Signal 1 has been raised over Southern Leyte.

‘Agaton’ is expected to make landfall over Caraga Monday night or early Tuesday morning. As of 4 p.m., its center was estimated at 175 kilometers east northeast of Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur, packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 60 kph.

Like Vinta, ‘Agaton’ is forecast to move west at 19 kph.

Vinta left at least 214 person dead and at least 101 missing in the two Lanao provinces and Zamboanga del Norte.

The weather bulletin said moderate to heavy rains are expected over Bicol Region, Visayas and Mindanao particularly in the regions of Eastern Visayas, Caraga and Davao.

Residents of these areas “must undertake precautionary measures against possible flooding and landslides” and coordinate with their respective local disaster risk reduction and management councils, the weather bulletin said.

Sea travel is risky in the areas under Signal 1.

‘Agaton’ is expected to be 65 km east of Dipolog City in Zamboanga del Norte by Tuesday afternoon; 80 km southeast of Puerto Princesa City in Palawan by Wednesday aftenroon and 90 km east of Pagasa Island in Palawan on Thursday afternoon. (MindaNews)