Heavy rain seen as Tropical Depression Amang nears Surigao

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Amang continued to move closer to the Surigao provinces late Sunday afternoon, January 20, just hours before its expected landfall.

In a bulletin issued 5 pm on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Amang is now 175 kilometers southeast of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte.

It continues to move west northwest at 30 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The tropical depression still has maximum winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 60 km/h.

Signal No. 1 remains raised in 13 areas:

Amang is expected to make landfall in the Surigao del Norte-Siargao Island area on Sunday evening.

PAGASA warned that on Sunday, moderate to heavy rain will persist in Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Eastern Visayas, Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, Masbate, the northern parts of the Negros provinces, the northern part of Cebu, and Bohol.

On Monday, January 21, moderate to heavy rain is expected in Eastern Visayas, Bicol, and the Dinagat Islands. Classes have been suspended in some areas for Monday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Monday, January 21)

Then on Tuesday, January 22, there will also be moderate to heavy rain in Eastern Visayas and Bicol.

Residents of those regions and provinces should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides, especially if they live in low-lying communities, near rivers, or in mountainous areas. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Sea travel is also risky in the seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1, the northern seaboard of Northern Luzon, and the eastern seaboards of Luzon, the Visayas, and Mindanao. This is due to the combined effects of Amang and the surge of the northeast monsoon or hanging amihan.

After hitting land, Amang might return to being an LPA on Monday, but would still bring hazards.

PAGASA earlier emphasized that weather disturbances such as LPAs and tropical depressions can still trigger heavy rain, so officials and residents should watch out for flash floods and landslides.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Amang as of January 20, 2019, 5 pm. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Amang as of January 20, 2019, 5 pm.

Image from PAGASA

Amang is the Philippines' first tropical cyclone for 2019. The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year.

The forecast for January is zero to one tropical cyclone. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2019– Rappler.com