Tropical Depression Agaton moves over Negros Oriental

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Agaton maintained its strength and speed as it moved over southern Negros Oriental early Tuesday morning, January 2.

Agaton had made landfall in the Dinagat Islands-Siargao Island area at 1 am on Tuesday.

In a bulletin issued 8:30 am on Tuesday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Agaton is already in the vicinity of Bais City, Negros Oriental, still moving west at 25 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The tropical depression continues to have maximum winds of 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 90 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)

There are no more areas in Mindanao under a warning signal, but signal number 1 is still raised over the following:

PAGASA also warned residents of the Visayas, Misamis Occidental, Dipolog City, northern Zamboanga del Norte, and Palawan to stay on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. (IN PHOTOS: Flood greets Biliran residents on first day of 2018)

Sea travel is suspended in areas under signal number 1. It is also risky to venture out into the seaboards of Northern Luzon and Southern Luzon, eastern seaboard of Central Luzon, eastern and western seaboards of the Visayas, and eastern seaboard of Mindanao due to the surge of the northeast monsoon and Agaton.

More than 3,000 passengers have been stranded at various ports, most of them in Northern Mindanao and Central Visayas, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).

Based on its latest forecast track, Agaton will leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) between Wednesday night, January 3, and Thursday morning, January 4. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Agaton as of January 2, 8:30 am. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Agaton as of January 2, 8:30 am.

Image courtesy of PAGASA

Mindanao is still reeling from Typhoon Vinta (Tembin), which hit land just a few days before Christmas 2017 as a severe tropical storm. It left at least 240 people dead.

Vinta also came on the heels of Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak), which battered  Eastern Visayas and killed 47 people. Urduja also left P2.172 billion in damage to agriculture and infrastructure. – Rappler.com