By Chito A. Chavez
Tropical Depression ‘Basyang’ has moved closer to Palawan after barreling through the Sulu Sea, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said yesterday.
Weather specialist Ariel Rojas said that as of 1p.m. Wednesday, the eye of the cyclone was estimated at 165 kilometers south of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) with gusts of up to 60 kph.
The cyclone was moving west at 23 kph.
Rojas said Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal Number 1 remains hoisted over Palawan, including the Calamian and Cuyo groups of islands.
Basyang is expected to slam the southern part of Palawan by Wednesday night.
Rojas noted that Palawan, Bicol and Eastern Visayas will experience scattered to widespread moderate to heavy rains.
Scattered rainshowers are expected in other parts of Visayas, due to the tail-end of a cold front.
The weather bureau said landslides and flooding in these areas are possible.
Rojas advised the public to take the necessary precautions as sea travel remains risky in Southern Luzon, Northern Luzon, Central Luzon and the Visayas.
A total of 24 domestic flights were cancelled due to the weather disturbance, while 4,542 passengers, 931 rolling cargoes, 119 vessels and nine motorbancas were marooned in various ports in the Visayas and Mindanao. (with a report from Francis T. Wakefield)