'Basyang' weakens into tropical depression

Posted at 02/01/14 9:33 AM

Satellite Image 8:32 a.m., 01 February 2014. Image. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Only 4 areas remain under signal no. 1

Basyang to exit PAR on Sunday afternoon

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) -- Tropical storm "Basyang" has weakened into a tropical depression on Saturday morning, state weather bureau PAGASA said.

PAGASA said Basyang is now packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center.

As of 4 p.m., it was spotted 88 kilometers southwest of Coron, Palawan.

Speaking to reporters earlier, weather forecaster Aldzar Aurelio said Basyang weakened after it made landfall over the Visayas region and also due to the presence of the northeast monsoon (amihan),

"Una, nag-landfall siya sa Visayas so nagkaroon ng friction sa kalupaan. Pangalawa, kakaunti ang mga moisture sa Visayas... At pangatlo ay yung pagpasok ng malamig na hangin galing sa amihan kasi ayaw ng bagyo
na yung hangin ay malamig kasi yun ang nakakapagpahina sa bagyo," Aurelio explained.

He added that the cold temperature of the Sulu sea also affected the strength of the cyclone.

"Kailangan kasi ay 26 degrees Celsius above. Eh ngayon ay 25 to 26 so hindi siya favorable na itong bagyo ay lalakas. Malamig yung tubig sa Sulu sea so ang mangyayari hihina ang bagyo," he said.

PAGASA said only four areas now remain under public storm warning signal number 1:

Northern Palawan
Calamian Group of Islands
Oriental Mindoro
Occidental Mindoro

These areas should expect 30 to 60 kph winds within the next 36 hours.

Public storm warning signals elsewhere have been lowered.

Residents living in low-lying and mountainous areas under storm warning signal 1 are alerted against possible flash floods and landslides.

An estimated rainfall amount of 5 to 10 millimeters per hour (moderate to heavy) is expected within the tropical storm's 300-kilometer diameter.

The weather bureau said Basyang, which is now over the West Philippine Sea, is forecast to move west at 30 kph.

At this rate and track, it is expected to be at 764 kilometers west of Coron, Palawan or outside the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) by Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, according to National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) spokesperson Major Reynaldo Balido, no injuries or casualties have been reported so far.

As of Friday evening, a total of 9,541 passengers have been stranded at various ports in the country.

Balido said 164 sea vessels, 877 rolling cargoes, and 21 motorized bancas were barred from sailing due to the storm.