By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Two tropical cyclones are inside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) at the same time, as the low pressure area (LPA) east of Visayas intensified into tropical depression ‘Sarah’ Tuesday afternoon.
Typhoon ‘Ramon’ (international name ‘Kalmaegi’) has slowed down once again, pushing further its expected landfall late Tuesday or early Wednesday, according to Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) weather specialist Benison Estareja.
Ramon moved erratically since it developed into a cyclone last November 12 due to the influence of the cold northeast monsoon or ‘amihan.’
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Ramon was at 100 kilometers (km) east of Calayan, Cagayan, and remained a strong cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 165 kph.
Should Ramon maintain its track, it will likely make landfall over Babuyan Islands anytime from Tuesday evening to Wednesday morning, Estareja said.
Signal No. 3 was hoisted over northern Cagayan, particularly Santa Praxedes, Claveria, Sanchez Mira, Pamplona, Abulug, Ballesteros, Aparri, Calayan, Camalaniugan, Buguey, Santa Teresita, Gonzaga and Santa Ana.
Meanwhile, Signal No. 2 was raised in Batanes, Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and the rest of Cagayan.
Areas under Signal No. 1 were northern Isabela, particularly Sta. Maria, San Pablo, Maconacon, Cabagan, Sto. Tomas, Quezon, Delfin Albano, Tumauini, Divilacan, Quirino, Roxas, Mallig, San Manuel, Burgos, Gamu and Ilagan City, and the provinces of Mountain Province, Benguet, Ifugao, La Union and Pangasinan.
Moderate with frequent heavy rains were expected over Batanes, Apayao, northern Ilocos Norte, and northern Cagayan including Babuyan Islands Tuesday.
However, Ramon could weaken after its landfall due to land interaction and amihan intrusion, Estareja said.
By Wednesday, light to moderate with occasional heavy rains may continue to affect Batanes, northern and eastern parts of Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, and Apayao.
Meanwhile, light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains will likely prevail over northern Aurora and the rest of Cagayan, Kalinga, Ilocos Norte and Isabela.
A gale warning is also in effect as sea travel is risky for small sea crafts, over the coastlines of areas with tropical cyclone warnings, seaboard of southern Isabela, and the western coasts of Zambales and Bataan due to the combined effects of Ramon and the amihan.
Meanwhile, PAGASA said the low pressure area (LPA) east of Visayas has intensified into a tropical depression and was named ‘Sarah.’ It is the 19th cyclone this year and third this month.
The cyclone was estimated at 615 km east-northeast of Borongan, Eastern Samar or 765 km east of Legazpi City around 4 p.m. Tuesday, and may intensify further into a tropical storm within 24 hours.
It has maximum sustained winds of 55 kph and gustiness of up to 70 kph.
Unlike Ramon, Sarah is moving relatively fast at 35 kph, and will likely make landfall over Cagayan province on Thursday (November 21), Estareja said.
PAGASA advised residents in the affected areas to take appropriate actions, coordinate with local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and continue monitoring the weather condition. (with a report from Richa Noriega)