PAGASA track of severe tropical storm Odette and forecast positions.

A tropical cyclone bulletin released by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said heavy to intense with at times torrential rains can be expected over the northern and central portions of Palawan due to “Odette” by early Friday (December 17) through Saturday (December 18) morning.

The severe tropical storm’s effect will be felt over the province, including the Cuyo and Cagayancillo islands.

Flooding, including flash floods, and rain-induced landslides are likely under these conditions, according to the advisory, especially in areas that are extremely or very highly susceptible to risks as identified in hazard maps, and in areas with large antecedent rainfall.

Track of severe tropical storm Odette.

The core of this tropical cyclone is expected to make landfall in the vicinity of Caraga or Eastern Visayas tomorrow afternoon or evening, according to the forecast track. Following that, Odette’s center will continue westward, passing through numerous provinces in the Central and Western Visayas before emerging over the Sulu Sea on Friday morning or afternoon.

This tropical storm is expected to cross northern Palawan on Friday evening before emerging over the West Philippine Sea after passing near or over the Cuyo archipelago.

Ares where Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 is raised.

PAGASA said Odette (international name: Rai) slightly intensified as of 4 a.m Wednesday and is nearing typhoon category strength.

PAGASA weather specialist Grace Castañeda said its center was estimated based on all available data at 735 kilometers (kms) East of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

Odette is packing maximum sustained winds of 110 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center, gustiness of up to 135 kph, and central pressure of 980 hPa. At present it is moving West Northwestward at 25 kph, and the extent of its tropical cyclone winds is strong or higher extend outwards up to 330 kilometers from the center.

Areas where gale warning is raised.

“Binabaybay nito ang Philippine Sea patungo sa central portion ng Philippine archipelago,” she said.

Currently, PAGASA has raised Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TWCS) No. 1 in Visayas over Northern Samar, Eastern Samar, Samar, Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Bohol, and the northern and central portions of Cebu (Daanbantayan, Medellin, City of Bogo, San Remigio, Tabogon, Borbon, Sogod, Catmon, Carmen, Danao City, Compostela, Liloan, Tabuelan, Tuburan, Asturias, City of Carcar, Pinamungahan, San Fernando, Toledo City, City of Naga, Balamban, Minglanilla, Cebu City, City of Talisay, Consolacion, Mandaue City, Lapu-Lapu City, Cordova) including Bantayan and Camotes Islands.

The same TCWS is also in effect in Mindanao over Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Camiguin, and the eastern portion of Misamis Oriental (Magsaysay, Gingoog City, Medina, Talisayan, Balingoan, Kinoguitan, Sugbongcogon, Salay, Jasaan, Balingasag, Lagonglong, Binuangan, Claveria, Villanueva, Tagoloan).

“Kaya pinapaalalahanan natin yong ating mga kababayan na mag-ingat po, at pinaghahanda natin sila sa mga posibleng mapanirang hangin na dala ni Odette, lalung-lalo na paglapit nito sa lupa,” said Castañeda.

Due to Odette’s effect, gale warning had also been raised in the seaboards of Northern Luzon, Eastern seaboard of Central Luzon, Eastern and Western seaboards of Southern Luzon, Western seaboards of Visayas and Eastern seaboard of Mindanao.

“Hindi pinapayagang pumalaot yong mga kababayan nating mangingisda, pati na rin yong may mga maliliit na sasakyang pandagat,” she said.

Today, December 15, through tomorrow (December 16) early morning, light to moderate with at times heavy rains are possible over Surigao del Norte, Surigao del Sur, and Dinagat Islands due Odette’s trough and outermost rain bands.

Moderate to heavy with at times intense rains are also expected over Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, and Negros Oriental. Light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Bicol Region, Northern Mindanao, Caraga, Zamboanga del Norte, Quezon, Aurora, the eastern portions of Cagayan and Isabela, and the rest of Visayas.

PAGASA said strong winds (strong breeze to near gale) with higher gusts will be experienced within any of the areas where TCWS #1 is currently in effect during the passage of the severe tropical storm. This may generally bring up to very light damage to structures and vegetation.

Areas under TCWS will be expanded in succeeding bulletins, while the hoisted wind signals in some localities of the country will be upgraded as the severe tropical storm moves closer. TCWS #2 may be hoisted this morning or afternoon for some areas currently under TCWS #1.

The highest level of wind signal that may be hoisted during Odette’s passage is TCWS #3 due to possible destructive typhoon-force winds in localities near or along the path of this tropical cyclone.

Hazards affecting coastal waters
• In the next 24 hours, moderate to high seas (1.2 to 7.0 m) will be experienced over the seaboards of areas where TCWS #1 is in effect (especially in the open sea areas). These conditions are risky for all types of sea vessels. Mariners are advised to remain in port or take shelter in port until winds and waves subside.

• Under the influence of Severe Tropical Storm “ODETTE” and the prevailing Northeast Monsoon, a Gale Warning remains in effect for the seaboards of Northern Luzon, the eastern seaboard of Central Luzon, the eastern and western seaboards of Southern Luzon, the western seaboard of Visayas, and the eastern seaboard of Mindanao not under any wind signal. For more information, refer to Gale Warning #47 issued at 5:00 AM today.

• In the next 24 hours, moderate to rough seas (1.2 to 3.1 m) will also prevail over the remaining seaboards of Central Luzon, Southern Luzon, and Visayas, and the western and northern seaboards of Mindanao that are not under any wind signal.

These conditions are risky for those using small seacrafts. Mariners are advised to take precautionary measures when venturing out to sea and, if possible, avoid navigating in these conditions.

Track and intensity outlook
Odette is forecast to move west northwestward until this afternoon, then westward thereafter.

Further intensification is expected today through tomorrow as the severe tropical storm crosses the Philippine Sea. Odette is forecast to intensify into a typhoon within 12 hours and may reach a peak intensity of 155 kph prior to making landfall tomorrow afternoon or evening.

This tropical cyclone may see some slight weakening as it crosses the Visayas and Palawan, but it is forecast to remain within the typhoon category. Re-intensification is likely once it emerges over the West Philippine Sea.

Considering these developments, the public and disaster risk reduction and management offices concerned are advised to take all necessary measures to protect life and property. Persons living in areas identified to be highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards are advised to follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials.

The next tropical cyclone bulletin will be issued at 11:00 AM today.

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