Ofel crosses Southern Luzon
Tropical depression Ofel is expected to bring moderate to heavy rains over CALABARZON, Camarines Norte, Marinduque, Romblon and Mindoro provinces, according to a report by CNN Philippines.
Storm Signal No. 1 is raised over Batangas, southern parts of Laguna and Quezon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Calamian Islands, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, and Masbate (including Ticao and Burias Islands).
Ofel first hit land in Eastern Samar and Matnog, Sorsogon early Wednesday morning. It had its third landfall in Burias Islands, Masbate at 12 p.m.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ofel will move west-northwestward or westward over the inland seas of Southern Luzon and may pass close or over Romblon and Mindoro Provinces.
Marikina City Mayor Marcelino “Marcy” Teodoro told CNN Philippines on Wednesday that they have already been preparing in the event of an overflow in the Marikina River.
Teodoro said that evacuation centers are already open and the first alarm level was lowered from 15-meters to 12-meters. He added that safety protocols against COVID-19 will strictly be observed. Rescue teams and equipment have also been prepared, according to Teodoro.
The municipal administrator of Matnog, Sorsogon, Dionebel Figueroa, told CNN Philippines that the weather condition in the area has become calmer by midday Wednesday, but sea travel remained suspended until Signal No. 1 is lifted.
“Medyo tahimik na dito," he said. "Maaliwalas na matapos mag landfall kaninang umaga. Pahupa na ang mga karagatan,” he said.
[Translation: It is quieter now. It is better after the landfall early this morning. The seas are also calmer.]
According to the Coast Guard, there are around 1,600 passengers, rolling cargoes, vessels, and motorbancas stranded in Southern Tagalog, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas ports due to Tropical Depression Ofel as of Wednesday evening.
Figueroa added that there are around 412 passengers, 171 cargoes, 34 trucks, and 37 light vehicles that were stranded.
The state weather forecaster said Ofel is predicted to remain a tropical depression while crossing the Southern Luzon area.
It may intensify into a storm when it crosses the West Philippine Sea on Thursday morning, it added. Ofel is expected to exit the Philippines on Friday.
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