Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 23) — After intensifying into a severe tropical storm, “Florita” is now heading northwestward and is seen to make landfall either in the vicinity of Cagayan or Isabela on Tuesday.
In its 8 a.m. advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) spotted Florita over the coastal waters of Palanan, Isabela, packing winds of 95 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 115 kph.
It is moving north-northwestward at 20 kph with strong to storm-force winds extending outwards up to 300 km from its center, PAGASA said.
It will continue to move generally northwestward and is forecast to make landfall in the vicinity of northern Isabela (coast of Palanan, Maconacon, or Divilacan) this morning or in the vicinity of Cagayan (coast of Gattaran, Baggao, or Peñablanca) before noon or by early afternoon.
Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 3 is hoisted over the southern portion of Babuyan Islands, the northern and eastern portions of mainland Cagayan, and the eastern portion of Isabela. These areas will experience storm-force winds within 18 hours.
Signal No. 2 is raised over the rest of mainland Cagayan, the rest of Babuyan Islands, the rest of Isabela, Quirino, the northern and eastern portions of Nueva Vizcaya, Apayao, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, the northern portion of Benguet, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, and the northern portion of Aurora. Gale-force winds are prevailing or are expected within 24 hours in these areas.
Meanwhile, Signal No. 1 is up in Batanes, the rest of Nueva Vizcaya, the rest of Benguet, La Union, Pangasinan, the eastern portion of Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, the rest of Aurora, the eastern portion of Pampanga, the eastern portion of Bulacan, the eastern portion of Rizal, the northern portion of Quezon including Polillo Islands, the northern portion of Laguna, and Camarines Norte. Strong winds are prevailing or are expected within 36 hours in these areas.
PAGASA said Binga Dam in Benguet and Magat Dam, which straddles Isabela and Ifugao, both had one gate open since Monday to release water due to Florita.
The state weather bureau added that a gale warning remains in effect over the northern, eastern, and southern seaboards of Luzon and western seaboard of Visayas. It reminded fishing boats and other small seacraft to avoid going out to sea.
After making landfall, the storm is seen to traverse northern Luzon and emerge over the West Philippine Sea in the evening. It will exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday morning.