'Ramon' intensifies into severe tropical storm

TROPICAL Storm Ramon has intensified into a severe tropical storm while moving north northwest toward northern Cagayan, where it is expected to make landfall between Monday night (November 18) and Tuesday morning (November 19), said the state weather bureau.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) is also monitoring a low pressure area (LPA) that is still outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).

Pagasa said the LPA was located at 1,320 kilometers east of Eastern Visayas as of 2 p.m. Monday and was forecast to enter PAR within 24 hours.

Ramon, meanwhile, was located at 125 kilometers east of Aparri, Cagayan, with maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 125 kph. It continues to move north northwest at 10 kph.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) Number 2 was raised over Cagayan (including Babuyan Islands), the northern portion of Isabela (Sta. Maria, San Pablo, Maconacon, Cabagan, Sto. Tomas, Quezon, Delfin Albano, Tumauini, and Divilacan), Apayao, Kalinga, and Ilocos Norte.

TCWS Number 1 was hoisted over Batanes, Ilocos Sur, Abra, Mountain Province, Benguet, Ifugao, La Union, Northern Aurora (Dilasag, Casiguran, and Dinalungan), and the rest of Isabela.

Pagasa said moderate with occasional to frequent heavy rains will be experienced Monday night over Cagayan including the Babuyan Islands, Batanes, the northern portion of Isabela, Ilocos Norte and Apayao, while light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains will be experienced over the rest of Ilocos Norte, rest of Isabela, Kalinga, Abra, and Ilocos Norte.

On Tuesday, residents will experience light to moderate with occasional heavy rains over northern Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, Batanes, Apayao, and the northern portion of Ilocos Norte, while those in Isabela, Kalinga, Abra, Ilocos Sur, and the rest of Cagayan and Ilocos Norte will experience light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains.

Pagasa warned residents in the aforementioned areas, especially those living in areas identified to be highly or very highly susceptible to flooding and rain-induced landslides, to take appropriate actions, coordinate with local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and continue monitoring for updates.

It said sea travel is risky, especially for small sea vessels, over the seaboards of areas under TCWS, the western seaboard of Northern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of Central and Southern Luzon due to prevailing or forecast rough sea conditions. (EZN)