(UPDATED) “Emong” has further strengthened into a tropical storm on Tuesday noon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) reported.
In its 5 pm update on Tuesday, Pagasa said Emong maintains maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near its center and a gustiness of up to 80 kph.
The state weather bureau last spotted the storm at about 470 kms east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan, with "Emong" accelerating its northward movement at 19 kph.
Should it maintain its current pace, Emong is expected to be 470 kms east of Basco, Batanes by Wednesday morning and out of Philippine area of responsibility by Thursday morning.
“Tropical Storm Emong is still too far to directly affect any part of the country. However, it will enhance the Southwest Monsoon,” Pagasa said.
The state weather said this will bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains and thunderstorms over provinces in Southern Luzon, Visayas, and Northern Mindanao.
Pagasa noted Emong will also bring an estimated amount of rains from moderate 5 mm to heavy 15 mm per hour, which may cause severe flooding in affected areas.
“Fishermen specially using small seacrafts are advised not to venture out into the northern and eastern seaboards of Luzon and western seaboards of Souther n Luzon due to big waves generated by Tropical Storm “Emong,” it added.
However, Pagasa still hopes the dissipation of a low pressure area (LPA) near Mindanao will ease the downpour of rains all over the country Tuesday.
Pagasa weather observer Elvira Enriquez explained this will slightly weaken the rain activities of Southwest monsoon over Metro Manila.
“Hindi naging maganda ang sirkulasyon niya kaya natunaw yung LPA. Kaya mawawalan na sya ng epekto sa Habagat (Southwest monsoon),” Pagasa weather observer.
In a phone interview, Enriquez said the weather system’s presence in Mindanao helped “Emong” to pull the Southwest monsoon towards the country earlier this week.
This, she noted, brought torrential rains that suddenly caused floods and traffic in Metro Manila Monday night.
But the expert clarified the presence of Tropical Depression “Emong” will keep on pulling the Southwest monsoon towards the country.
Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) expect Emong to effect watercourses in Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon and Rizal.
In its 9 am update, the NDRRMC warned of possible floods in Upper Marikina and Kaliwa, Rizal.
Philippine economic growth in the first quarter slowed to a three-year low of 5.2 percent, well below forecasts, due to lethargic government spending and weak exports, officials said Thursday. "While growth in the private sector remains robust, the slower than programmed pace of public spending, particularly the decline in public construction, has slowed down the overall growth of the economy," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters. "Exports were the other source of the …