PH’s first storm of 2021 heading toward Mindanao

ILIGAN CITY (MindaNews /17 Feb) – The country’s first storm, named “Auring,” is heading toward Mindanao and expected to make landfall somewhere in the eastern coast of Caraga Region between Saturday evening and Sunday morning, the weather bureau reported.

Forecast of Auring’s path. Image courtesy of PAGASA

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), in a severe weather bulletin issued 11 a.m. Wednesday, said the tropical depression east of Mindanao entered the Philippine area of responsibility at 8 a.m.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, the center of Auring was estimated at 900 km east southeast of Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur. It has maximum sustained winds of 45kph near the center and gustiness of up to 55kph, moving west southwestward at 20 kph.

PAGASA said that “Auring” is currently not affecting any part of the country.

“However, localities in Visayas, Bicol Region, MIMAROPA, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, Cotabato, and Lanao del Sur, especially those situated in areas identified in hazard maps to be highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards, are advised to take appropriate preparatory measures due to increasing likelihood of heavy rains and gusty conditions associated with the potential passage of a tropical cyclone during the weekend through Monday,” the weather bureau warned.

PAGASA said no locality is yet under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TWCS) #1 as of the moment, but it may be raised over some provinces in the Caraga and Davao Regions as early as Friday.

But it warned that the “tail-end of a frontal system” will continue to bring in moderate to heavy rains over Eastern Visayas, Sorsogon, Masbate, Albay, Catanduanes and light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Central Visayas, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, and the rest of Bicol Region.

“Isolated flooding and rain-induced landslides may occur due to heavy rainfall or prolonged periods of rainfall, especially in areas identified in hazard maps to be highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards. Adjacent or nearby areas may also experience flooding in the absence of such rainfall occurrence due to surface runoff or swelling of river channels,” PAGASA said. (MindaNews)