Ofel hits Luzon, Visayas
Ofel, the 15th storm to enter the country this year, hit Can-avid at 2:30 a.m., Matnog, Sorsogon at 6 a.m. and Burias Island, Masbate at noon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.
PAGASA
Ofel hits Luzon, Visayas
Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - October 15, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Tropical Depression Ofel made its first landfall yesterday in Can-avid, Eastern Samar, then made two other landfalls in Sorsogon and Masbate, unleashing heavy rains and strong winds across Southern Luzon and Eastern Visayas.

Ofel, the 15th storm to enter the country this year, hit Can-avid at 2:30 a.m., Matnog, Sorsogon at 6 a.m. and Burias Island, Masbate at noon, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

The storm was expected to cross Romblon and Mindoro provinces last night, according to PAGASA weather forecaster Joey Figuracion.

The weather disturbance will continue to bring moderate to heavy to at times intense rains over Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon), Camarines Norte, Marinduque, Romblon and Mindoro provinces this morning.

Light to moderate to at times heavy rains, meanwhile, will persist over Central Luzon, Metro Manila, Palawan, Cagayan, Isabela and the rest of the Bicol region as well as the Visayas and Mindanao due to Ofel and the southwest monsoon.

As of 4 p.m. yesterday, the center of the storm was spotted 125 kilometers west of Juban, Sorsogon or 70 km east northeast of Romblon, Romblon, packing winds of 45 kilometers per hour near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph.

It was forecast to move west at 15 kph.

As of 5 p.m., Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 was hoisted over Batangas, the southern portion of Laguna, central and southern portions of Quezon, Calamian Islands, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay and Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands.

Ofel was expected to remain a tropical depression while crossing the Southern Luzon area, according to PAGASA.

It was forecast to intensify into a tropical storm as it moves over the West Philippine Sea.

Ofel is expected to exit the Philippine area of responsibility tomorrow afternoon, Figuracion said.

Over 600 passengers were stranded yesterday in several ports in Bicol after authorities barred vessels from operating in the region due to Ofel.

The passengers are now temporarily sheltered in Matnog Port in Sorsogon, Piduran Port in Albay and Pilar Port.

OCD-Bicol officials said 200 trucks, 39 cars, 24 sea vessels and 17 motorized boats were held at Matnog Port, Pioduran Port, Tabaco Port and Pilar Port.

In Legazpi City, Mayor Noel Rosal ordered the suspension of online classes due to Ofel to prepare for an evacuation anytime.

Rosal issued the order following reports that some parents and teachers are frequenting the schools to pick up or submit modules of their students.

Rosal also alerted disaster management officials to prepare evacuation in lahar and flood prone villages should the weather condition worsen.

He said that no evacuation has yet been carried out as of 1 p.m. yesterday. — Cet Dematera

PAGASA TROPICAL DEPRESSION
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