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Monday, January 20, 2014

Philippines-Tropical Depression Agaton Brings Up More Danger in Mindanao

A weather forecaster shows the eye of tropical depression Agaton on a satellite image at the PAG-ASA office in Quezon City. Mindanao faces more heavy rains, flooding and landslides as tropical depression Agaton continues to take an erratic track towards the southern part of the island, threatening anew to make a landfall in Davao Oriental within 36 to 48 hours. The number of fatalities from the first calamity to hit the country this year increased to 40 as of yesterday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said. Agaton a formerly Low Pressure Area (LPA) has affected 123,444 families or 587,115 people in 635 villages of 15 provinces in Regions 10, 11, Caraga and Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). It said 33,388 families or 161,808 people are still temporary taking shelter in 436 evacuation centers in parts of Mindanao that have been experiencing heavy rains over the past days. The agency also reported 14 cases of landslides and 6 flooding incidents in Mindanao and 2 maritime incidents in Visayas. The forecast track of the weather disturbance has been unpredictable even before it developed into a tropical depression due to the influence of the North East Monsoon or Hanging Amihan and High Pressure Area (HPA) off the Pacific Ocean. Last Saturday Agaton was forecast to move west and make landfall over Surigao City but the 2 HPA's that formed the North East Monsoon forced the tropical depression to move South East ward or away from the country. As of mid-Sunday Agaton was at 205 Km South East of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur or at 230 Km East of Davao City. They said also that "Agaton" may move South West then South-South West at a speed of 7 Kph. If it maintains it's present track and doesn't dissipate, the weather disturbance may leave the country's area of responsibility by Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. Signal No. 1 remains hoisted over Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur and Compostella Valley on Sunday morning. PAG-ASA warned residents in these areas that they make experience winds of about 30 to 60 Kph in at least 36 Hrs. Meanwhile, moderate to heavy rains are also expected in areas place under Siganal No. 1.       
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