Signal No. 1 stays as 'Obet' slightly speeds up

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 20) — Storm signals remain raised over several areas in Luzon on Thursday as Tropical Depression Obet slightly picked up speed while continuing on its westward track.

In its 11 p.m. bulletin, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said that Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the northeastern portion of mainland Cagayan (Santa Ana, Gonzaga) are still under Signal No. 1.

PAGASA warned of minimal to minor threat to life and property in areas under Signal No. 1. It expects Signal No. 2 to be the highest possible wind signal to be raised due to 'Obet.'

The center of the storm was last located 555 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes.

'Obet' has maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 55 kph. It is now traveling at 20 kph, from 15 kph earlier in the day.

PAGASA said moderate to heavy rains are forecast over Cagayan including Babuyan Islands and Apayao, and possibly over Batanes from Thursday night until Friday noon. Light to moderate with at times heavy rains are seen over Ilocos Norte.

Tomorrow noon through Saturday early morning, PAGASA predicts moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Batanes, the northern portion of Cagayan including Babuyan Islands, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte.

Light to moderate with at times heavy rains are possible over Abra, Kalinga, the northern portion of Ilocos Sur, and the rest of Cagayan.

PAGASA also warned that flooding and rain-induced landslides may occur especially in highly susceptible areas and in localities with significant prior rainfall.

Before the arrival of tropical cyclone rainfall, the shear line may bring heavy rains over Cagayan and Isabela in the next 24 hours, the weather bureau added.

'Obet' is forecast to gradually intensify and may reach tropical storm category by Friday or Saturday morning as it passes over extreme northern Luzon.

It could further strengthen once it reaches the West Philippine Sea before its expected exit Saturday evening, PAGASA also said.