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'Ondoy' intensifies into tropical storm, 4 areas under signal 2

Tropical depression "Ondoy" intensified into a storm Friday afternoon as it moved closer to Luzon, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said. In its 5 p.m. advisory, Pagasa said at least four areas were placed under Storm Signal No. 2. These are the provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, and Polillo Island in Quezon. "This disturbance is expected to enhance the Southwest Monsoon and bring rains over Central and Southern Luzon and Visayas. Residents living in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes in areas affected by the southwest monsoon and those under signals No. 1 and No. 2 are alerted against possible flashfloods and landslides," Pagasa said.
For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV "Ondoy" was estimated at 130 km northeast of Virac, Catanduanes or 360 kms east-southeast of Baler, Aurora as of 4 p.m. It packed maximum winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph. Pagasa said "Ondoy" was moving west-northwest at 11 kph and is expected to cross central Luzon on Sunday morning. By Sunday afternoon it is expected to be 130 km west-northwest of Dagupan City or 150 kms west of Baguio City, as it exits into the South China Sea. Under Signal No. 1 are Albay, Burias Island, Quezon, Marinduque, Rizal, Bulacan, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Isabela. Pagasa advised those living along the coast under Signal #2 are advised to be on alert against big waves generated by the storm. Meanwhile, Pagasa reiterated the surge of the southwest monsoon will affect the western and southern seaboard of Southern Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. "Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves," it said. - GMANews.TV