Tropical Depression Amang shifts, now off to Samar-Leyte area

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Amang changed its course early Monday morning, January 21, and is now heading for the Samar-Leyte area and not Southern Leyte.

In a bulletin issued 8 am on Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Amang is already in the vicinity of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.

It is now moving northwest – from the previous west northwest – toward the Samar-Leyte area at the same slow pace of 10 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The tropical depression had made landfall in Siargao Island at 8 pm on Sunday, January 20.

It still has maximum winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 60 km/h.

Signal No. 1 remains up in 9 areas:

On Monday, moderate to heavy rain may prevail in Eastern Visayas, Central Visayas, and Bicol. Classes have been suspended in some areas. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Monday, January 21)

Then on Tuesday, January 22, moderate to heavy rain could be experienced in Eastern Visayas, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, and Masbate.

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 and western seaboards 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.

Amang might also return to being a low pressure area (LPA) on Monday, though this does not mean that there would no longer be any threats.

PAGASA stressed that weather disturbances such as LPAs and tropical depressions do trigger heavy rain, which could cause flash floods and landslides.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Amang as of January 21, 2019, 8 am. Image from PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Amang as of January 21, 2019, 8 am.

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