Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 23) — Severe Tropical Storm “Florita” maintained its strength and was last spotted over the coastal waters of Burgos, Ilocos Norte, the state weather bureau said in its 8 p.m. advisory.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Florita was packing winds of 100 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 165 kph.
It added that it was moving northwestward at 25 kph.
Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 3 is hoisted over the northwestern portion of mainland Cagayan, and the northern and central portions of Apayao, and Ilocos Norte. Storm-force winds that have moderate to significant threat to life and property may pound these areas within 18 hours, PAGASA noted.
Signal No. 2 is raised over northern and central portions of Ilocos Sur, the rest of Apayao, Kalinga, Abra, the northern portion of Mountain Province, the rest of mainland Cagayan, the rest of Babuyan Islands, and the northern portion of Isabela. 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 Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, the rest of Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, the rest of Ilocos Sur, and the northern and central portions of Aurora. Strong winds are prevailing or are expected within 36 hours in these areas.
PAGASA added that Pangasinan, Metro Manila, Zambales, Bataan, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Bulacan, Mindoro provinces, Marinduque, Romblon, Northern Samar, Antique, Aklan, Calabarzon, Bicol Region, and the remaining municipalities of Aurora that are not in the Wind Signal may experience gusts reaching strong breeze to near gale strength within the next 24 hours.
PAGASA said the southwest monsoon or “habagat” will also bring rains over Western Visayas and Mimaropa in the next 24 hours.
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 sea craft to avoid going out to sea.
Florita will continue to move west northwestward throughout the forecast period. It is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Wednesday morning, according to PAGASA.