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3 areas under Signal No. 1 as Obet maintains strength

Three areas in Northern Luzon remained under Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) No. 1 due to Tropical Depression Obet, which maintained its strength as it moved westward over the Philippines Sea late Thursday morning.

In its 11 a.m. bulletin, state weather bureau PAGASA said Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the northeastern portion of mainland Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga) are under TCWS No. 1.

Obet was last spotted 745 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, packing maximum sustained winds of 45 km per hour and gustiness of up to 55 km/h while moving westward at 10 km/h.

PAGASA said Obet may reach tropical storm category by Friday evening or early Saturday morning during its passage over or near the Luzon landmass.

"Further intensification is likely once OBET reaches the West Philippine Sea," PAGASA said.

Meanwhile, aside from Obet's expected rainfall, the shear line may also bring heavy rains to Batanes, Cagayan Valley, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte in the next 24 hours, PAGASA said.

A marine gale warning is still in effect over the seaboards of Northern Luzon due to the influence of the surge of northeasterly surface wind flow, it added.

The surge of northeasterly surface wind flow and Obet may bring moderate to rough seas over the seaboards of Central Luzon up to 3.5 meters and the western and eastern seaboards of Southern Luzon up to 3.0 meters.

“These conditions may be risky for those using small seacrafts. Mariners are advised to take precautionary measures when venturing out to sea and, if possible, avoid navigating in these conditions,” PAGASA said.

Obet is expected to move west southwestward until Thursday evening or Friday morning while accelerating before turning westward towards Luzon Strait, according to PAGASA.

Between Friday evening and Saturday morning, Obet may pass Extreme Northern Luzon or the northern portion of mainland Northern Luzon.

From early Friday morning through Saturday morning, Obet may bring moderate to heavy with at times intense rains possible over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, Ilocos Norte, Apayao, and the northern portion of mainland Cagayan.

Light to moderate with at times heavy rains may be experienced over the northern portion of Ilocos Sur, Abra, Kalinga, and the rest of mainland Cagayan.

“Under these conditions, flooding and rain-induced landslides are possible, especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazard as identified in hazard maps and in localities with significant antecedent rainfall,” PAGASA said. —Joviland Rita/KBK, GMA News