The low pressure area east of Eastern Samar has developed into a tropical depression and was named “Ofel”, the weather bureau said Tuesday afternoon.

At 4 p.m., the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) tracked Ofel 115 km. east southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, moving north-northwestward at 15kph.

It packs a maximum sustained wind of 45 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph.

PAGASA forecast Ofel to make landfall over the Eastern Samar-Northern Samar area by Wednesday. It will likely remain as a depression while traversing the southern part of Southern Luzon.

PAGASA expects Ofel to reach the tropical storm category within 48 hours.

Meanwhile, as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) no. 1 was hoisted over Sorsogon, Northern Samar, and the northern portions of Eastern Samar and Samar. These areas may experience occasional gustiness.

Albay, Ticao Island, and the rest of Eastern Samar and Samar may likely be placed under TCWS no. 1 on Tuesday night, according to PAGASA.

Moderate to heavy rains will be experienced over Catanduanes, Masbate, including Ticao Island, Albay, Sorsogon, Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, and the northern portion of Leyte.

Light to moderate and at times, heavy rains will prevail over the rest of Eastern Visayas and Bicol Region.

Flooding and landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall, especially in areas highly susceptible to these hazards.

Moderate to rough seas will be experienced over the seaboards of Luzon and Eastern Visayas.

PAGASA advised those with small seacraft to take precautionary measures while venturing out to sea. (PNA)