Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 23) — Severe Tropical Storm “Florita” intensified further as it made landfall over Maconacon, Isabela at 10:30 a.m. the state weather bureau said.
In its 11 a.m. advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) spotted Florita over the coastal waters of Maconacon packing winds of 110 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 150 kph.
It was moving northwestward at 20 kph with strong to storm-force winds extending outwards up to 300 km from its center, PAGASA said.
Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 3, is hoisted over the northern portion of Ilocos Norte, Apayao, the southern portion of Babuyan Islands, mainland Cagayan, and the northeastern portion of Isabela. These areas will experience storm-force winds within 18 hours.
Signal No. 2 is raised over the rest of the Babuyan Islands, the rest of Isabela, Quirino, the northern and eastern portion of Nueva Vizcaya, Abra, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Ifugao, the northern portion of Benguet, the rest of 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, the eastern portion of Pangasinan, the northeastern portion of Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, and the rest of Aurora. Strong winds are prevailing or are expected within 36 hours in these areas.
PAGASA added Metro Manila, Zambales, Bataan, Mindoro Provinces, Marinduque, Romblon, Northern Samar, Antique, Aklan, Calabarzon, and Bicol Region may experience gusts reaching strong breeze to near gale strength within the next 24 hours.
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 seaboards of Northern and Central Luzon, most of the seaboards of Southern Luzon, and western seaboard of Visayas. It reminded fishing boats and other small seacraft to avoid going out to sea.
Florita will continue to move generally northwestward and is forecast to traverse the northern portion of Isabela and mainland Cagayan before emerging over the Babuyan Channel on Tuesday night. It is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday morning, according to PAGASA.