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Tropical depression 'Auring' weakens

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Tropical Storm Auring has slightly weakened as it moves very slowly over the Philippine sea towards the eastern coast of the Caraga region from its last estimated position 460 km. east-southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, according to a report by Philippine News Agency.

In its severe weather bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said “Auring” packs maximum sustained winds of 75 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph and is expected to remain almost stationary in the next six to 12 hours before it accelerates towards the northwest.

“(Its) center is forecast to make landfall over the eastern coast of Caraga on Sunday morning or afternoon, then cross (the) Visayas and Mimaropa throughout the remainder of Sunday through Monday,” PAGASA said.

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While “Auring” is more likely to remain a tropical storm, it said there is an “increasing likelihood” that it would weaken into a tropical depression before making landfall.

“This storm will likely weaken considerably due to significant terrain interaction and persistent vertical wind shear during this passage over the archipelago and may reach tropical depression category on Monday,” PAGASA said.

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 is currently raised over Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Cebu, Negros Oriental, Bohol, and Siquijor in the Visayas.

In Mindanao, Signal No. 1 is also raised over the Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, Davao City, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, Bukidnon, and Lanao del Sur.

Rains with gusty winds have been predicted for Caraga, Davao Oriental, Davao de Oro, Davao del Norte, and Davao City.

Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, Northern Mindanao, Davao del Sur, and Davao Occidental will have cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms also due to “Auring”.

Meanwhile, the Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera regions, Aurora, Quezon, Romblon, and Oriental Mindoro will have cloudy skies with rains caused by the northeast monsoon.

Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon and the Visayas will get partly cloudy skies with isolated light rains also caused by the northeast monsoon.

For the rest of Mindanao, there will be partly cloudy to cloudy skies with scattered rain showers brought by localized thunderstorms.

The temperature in Metro Manila will range from 21°C to 29°C; Lipa City, 21°C to 28°C; Metro Cebu, 24°C to 30°C; Cagayan de Oro City, 25°C to 29°C; and Metro Davao, 23°C to 29°C.

Canceled flights

In a related development, flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) has canceled some 36 flights scheduled on February 20 to 22 due to “Auring”.

In an advisory posted on its Facebook page on Friday night, PAL said as "Auring" was forecast to affect parts of central and southern Philippines, it was canceling the following flights:

February 20:

PR2934/PR2935 Manila-Butuan-Manila
PR2525/PR2526 Manila-Cagayan de Oro-Manila
PR2361/PR2362 Cebu-Butuan-Cebu
PR2363/PR2364 Cebu- Davao-Cebu

February 21:

PR2519/PR2520 Manila-Cagayan de Oro-Manila
PR2521/PR2522 Manila-Cagayan de Oro-Manila
PR2525/PR2526 Manila-Cagayan de Oro-Manila
PR2773/PR2774 Manila-Tagbilaran (Panglao)-Manila
PR2934/PR2935 Manila-Butuan-Manila
PR2985/PR2986 Manila-Tacloban-Manila
PR2983/PR2984 Manila-Tacloban-Manila
PR2971/PR2972 Manila-Siargao-Manila
PR2886/PR2887 Manila-Ozamiz-Manila
PR2313/PR2314 Cebu-Cagayan de Oro-Cebu
PR2374/PR2375 Cebu-Siargao-Cebu

February 22:

PR2963/PR2964 Manila-Busuanga (Coron)-Manila
PR2039/PR2040 Manila-Caticlan (Boracay)-Manila
PR2969/PR2970 Manila-Kalibo-Manila

Affected passengers may rebook their flights within 30 days, with the rebooking fee waived.

They may also opt for a refund, or convert their ticket into a travel voucher.


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