“Pepito” has intensified into a severe tropical storm (STS) on Wednesday afternoon, and is forecast to gradually intensify over the West Philippine Sea, the weather bureau said.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) expects Pepito to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Thursday.
The STS was last seen 295 kilometer. west of Dagupan City, Pangasinan, moving westward at 15 kph. It now packs maximum sustained winds of 95 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 115 kph.
Light to moderate – at times heavy rains are likely over Western Visayas, the Zamboanga Peninsula, Batanes, the Babuyan Islands, Zambales, Bataan, Occidental Mindoro, and Palawan, until Thursday.
Flooding and rain-induced landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall, especially in areas highly susceptible to these hazards.
As of 5 p.m., no tropical cyclone wind signal was hoisted on any part of the country. However, the northeasterly surface wind flow will cause high to gale force winds over Northern Luzon, especially in coastal and mountainous areas.
Gale warning is in effect due to rough to very rough seas over the seaboards of Northern and Central Luzon, the seaboard of northern Quezon including Polillo Island, and the western seaboards of Batangas, Occidental Mindoro (including Lubang Islands), and Palawan (including Calamian and Kalayaan Islands).
Moderate to rough seas continue to prevail over the eastern seaboards of southern Quezon, the Bicol Region, Eastern Visayas, Caraga, and the Davao Region, PAGASA said. (pna.gov.ph)