Signal No. 1 up in E. Samar

MANILA (Updated) - The weather bureau has placed the province of Eastern Samar on Friday under storm signal number 1 as Tropical Storm "Butchoy" (international name: Guchol) moves west northwest of the country.

Butchoy was spotted 680 kilometers (km) east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, as of 10:00 p.m. Friday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said.

Pagasa, in its latest weather bulletin, said Butchoy maintained its strength at 95 kilometer per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 120 kph.

It will bring and estimated rainfall amount is from 15–25 mm per hour (heavy) within the 300 km diameter.

Butchoy is expected to be 500 km east of Baler, Aurora by Saturday evening. By Sunday evening, it is expected to be at 280 km east of Basco, Batanes.

Meanwhile, Malacañang assured Friday that all concerned government agencies are on standby for the possible onslaught of Butchoy.

Although the weather bureau said the storm will not make landfall, it is still expected to intensify into a typhoon and projected to bring heavy rains over Luzon and Visayas.

"All the agencies have been alerted and have been on standby already," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said.

She said the regional offices led by the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and the Department of Health (DOH) have been preparing for the storm.

She assured that there are enough standby funds for all the regions, which will be affected.

She said the government will closely monitor the situation particularly in the areas where the storm is expected to pass through.

Pagasa warned fishing boats and other small seacrafts not to venture into the seaboards of Luzon, Visayas and Northeastern Mindanao due to big waves

Pagasa will issue its next weather update 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, Saturday. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)

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