‘Usman’ may hit northern Cebu
CEBU, Philippines — Tropical depression Usman may hit northern Cebu if it does not change direction, says the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.
Storm Warning Signal No. 1 may be hoisted in northern Cebu or the entire province ahead of its expected landfall on Friday morning, according to PAGASA-Visayas chief Alfredo Quiblat Jr.
He said there are possibilities that Usman may gain strength while travelling the waters and elevate to second category Tropical Storm before it reaches landmass. As precaution, Signal No. 1 may be declared in some parts of the Visayas region, including Cebu or northern Cebu, this afternoon or later in the evening.
“Possible tropical cyclone warning signal number one will be raised over northern Cebu if not whole Cebu on December 27 after midday,” he said.
PAGASA weather specialist Aldczar Aurelio, during the weather bureau’s 5 p.m. press briefing, said Usman is predicted to make a landfall within the vicinity of northern Cebu.
He said Usman’s track is projected to traverse the northern parts of Leyte; northern Cebu; Panay Island, then to pass through Sulu Sea before crossing northern Palawan.
He said moderate to heavy rains are expected over the Visayas region starting today until the weekends.
Usman was spotted on Wednesday at 3 p.m. hovering over the waters about 690 kilometers East Northeast of Hinatuan town, Surigao del Sur. The weather bureau said it has maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour, moving in a West-Northwest direction at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour.
Aurelio said sea travels would be risky particularly at the eastern sections of southern Visayas because of the strong winds blowing from the Northeast to Northwest.
Quiblat said in Cebu, critical days are from December 28 to 30 because there might be rough seas brought about by the strong winds. He added wind strength may range from 40 to 50 kilometers per hour, enough to generate huge waves.
He advised seafarers to keep monitoring of the next advisories to know the sea condition. Gale warning may be raised in Cebu and other areas.
Moreover, Quiblat said people must be cautious of the possible flooding and landslide in critical areas. Isolated rains may already be felt in Cebu with the skies mostly covered with clouds starting today until the weekends. — FPL (FREEMAN)