By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Tropical cyclone “Falcon” (international name “Danas”) intensified into a storm Tuesday afternoon, ahead of its close approach or landfall over Batanes or Babuyan islands on Wednesday
As Falcon nears the landmass of Northern Luzon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) raised tropical cyclone wind signal No. 2 over the northeastern portion of Cagayan province and Babuyan group of islands.
Under signal No. 1 are Batanes, the rest of Cagayan province, northern Ilocos Norte, northern Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Isabela, eastern portion of Mountain Province, and eastern part of Ifugao.
PAGASA weather specialist Aldczar Aurelio said signal No. 1 may be raised over the northern portions of Aurora, Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya and the rest of Abra, Mt. Province, and Ifugao in the next few hours.
Falcon intensified into a tropical storm at around 2 p.m. Tuesday. At 4 p.m., it was estimated 335 km east-southeast of Tuguegarao City in Cagayan.
The storm, which was moving west relatively fast at 30 kph, has maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 80 kph.
Should it maintain its current speed and direction, Aurelio said Falcon will make a close approach or landfall over Batanes or Babuyan group of islands by Wednesday, and exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Friday.
Until Wednesday morning, moderate to heavy rains will be experienced over Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Zambales, Occidental Mindoro, northern Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo Islands, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, and Guimaras.
In addition, light to moderate with at times heavy rains will be experienced over Metro Manila, Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Bicol Region, and the rest of Visayas, Central Luzon, and Mimaropa.
Between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon, Aurelio said moderate to heavy rains may prevail over Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Cagayan Valley.
Meanwhile, light to moderate with at times heavy rains may prevail over Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa.
The public, especially those living in areas identified to be at risk of flooding and landslides, were advised to take precautionary measures, coordinate with local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and continue monitoring official PAGASA updates.
Likewise, sea travel is risky over the seaboards of areas under signal No. 2 and 1, and the eastern seaboards of Central Luzon, Southern Luzon and Visayas.
Furthermore, the Angat Dam in Bulacan has started to benefit from the monsoon rains, recording just a slight decrease in water level on Tuesday.
From 158.75 meters last Monday, Angat Dam’s water level was down slightly at 158.69 meter on Tuesday, with only a 6-centimeter difference.
PAGASA had earlier projected that the monsoon rains may contribute to the gradual recovery of the Angat Dam.