Tropical Depression Inday slightly strengthens

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Inday slightly strengthened and accelerated on Wednesday afternoon, July 18, as it continued to enhance the southwest monsoon or hanging habagat.

In a bulletin issued 5 pm on Wednesday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Inday now has maximum winds of 60 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 55 km/h and gustiness of up to 75 km/h from the previous 65 km/h.

PAGASA warned that Inday could strengthen further into a tropical storm within the next 24 hours.

The tropical depression is already 755 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes, moving east at a faster 25 km/h from the previous 15 km/h.

Inday is not expected to make landfall in the Philippines, and there are no areas under tropical cyclone warning signals. It will, however, continue enhancing the southwest monsoon.

Moderate to heavy monsoon rain will hit the Ilocos Region, the Cordillera Administrative Region, Cagayan Valley, Zambales, and Bataan. The frequency will be intermittent, or not nonstop, according to PAGASA.

Scattered rainshowers, ranging from light to heavy, are also expected in the rest of Luzon.

Residents of Luzon, especially those in low-lying or in mountainous areas, should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Some areas have already suspended classes for Thursday, July 19. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Thursday, July 19)

PAGASA also warned that sea travel is risky in the seaboards of Central Luzon and in the eastern seaboard of Northern Luzon.

Based on its latest forecast track, Inday is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday morning, July 21.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Inday as of July 18, 2018, 5 pm. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Inday as of July 18, 2018, 5 pm.

Image courtesy of PAGASA

Inday is the Philippines' 9th tropical cyclone for 2018. The country usually gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. (READ: LIST: PAGASA's names for tropical cyclones in 2018)

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 8. – Rappler.com