Storm 'Ofel' exits PAR
MANILA – Improved weather is expected as tropical storm “Ofel” (international name: Son-Tinh) exits the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), the state weather bureau said.
In its 5 p.m. bulletin, PAGASA said the storm was already outside PAR and was last spotted 570 kilometers west of Iba, Zambales.
It was seen moving west northwest at a speed of 22 kilometers per hour.
PAGASA forecaster Lenny Ruiz earlier told dzMM that weather conditions will continue to improve over the weekend.
The storm left at least 6 people dead and 9 fishermen missing, according to latest data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
NDRRMC executive director Benito Ramos said authorities had not given up hope that the missing individuals may be found alive.
"Maybe these guys just took refuge in small islands. They might emerge anytime. We can't say they are dead. There is an effort to locate them," he told AFP.
The storm triggered massive flooding and landslides across the country, forcing thousands to evacuate their homes.
Ofel is the 15th tropical cyclone to enter the Philippines this year. -- With a report from Agence France-Presse