Tropical Depression “Ofel” made two landfalls in Eastern Samar and Sorsogon as of Wednesday morning as it crosses Southern Luzon while dumping heavy rains in most parts of the country.
In its severe weather bulletin issued Wednesday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said “Ofel” made its second landfall in the vicinity of Matnog, Sorsogon around 6 a.m., at least four hours after it first hit land in Can-avid, Eastern Samar at 2:30 a.m.
According to PAGASA, “‘Ofel” was spotted 30 kilometers southwest of Juban, Sorsogon or 30 kilometers northeast of Masbate City, Masbate at 7 a.m., Friday and has maintained its strength with maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph.
Tropical cyclone wind signal number 1 remains hoisted in Batangas, the southern portion of Laguna (Luisiana, Majayjay, Liliw, Nagcarlan, Rizal, Calauan, Alaminos, Los Baños, Bay, Magdalena, and San Pablo City) and southern parts of Quezon (Guinayangan,Tagkawayan, Buenavista, San Narciso, San Andres, Mulanay, San Francisco, Catanauan, Lopez, Calauag, Quezon, Alabat, Perez, Atimonan, Tayabas City, Mauban, Sampaloc, Lucban, Gumaca, General Luna, Macalelon, Pitogo, Unisan, Plaridel, Padre Burgos, Agdangan, Pagbilao, Lucena City, Sariaya, Candelaria, Dolores, Tiaong, San Antonio and Burias Islands).
Also placed under signal number 1 in the Visayas are Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, and Biliran.
Areas placed under signal number 1 will experience “winds of 30 to 60 kph or intermittent rains within 36 hours.”
PAGASA said the tropical depression further accelerated as it crossed the southern part of Sorsogon after its second landfall and is now moving west-northwest at 25 kph.
Based on its current track, PAGASA said “Ofel” will move west-northwestward over the inland seas of Southern Luzon and may pass close to or over Masbate, Romblon, and Mindoro provinces.
It is also likely to emerge over the West Philippine Sea on Thursday morning and is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Friday morning or afternoon, the state weather bureau added.
“Ofel” is the 15th tropical cyclone to enter the country this year and the second this month after Tropical Storm “Nika.” At least two to three tropical cyclones are likely to enter PAR this October, PAGASA added.
The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones annually. PAGASA had earlier said that more rains are expected in the coming months due to the onset of La Niña.