Inquirer.net – The low-pressure area (LPA) observed by the state weather bureau east of Southeastern Luzon has officially developed into Tropical Depression Egay.
As of Friday afternoon, Egay has maintained its strength and becomes the fifth tropical cyclone to impact the Philippines in 2023, and the second in July.
Forecasters are closely monitoring Egay’s trajectory, warning that it may intensify into a super typhoon by Monday, July 24. Super typhoons are powerful storms with gusts of at least 240 kph, posing significant threats to coastal towns and structures.
The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) reported that Egay’s center was last located 835 kilometers east of southeastern Luzon, with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 70 kph. The current movement is north-northwest at 20 kph.
Pagasa’s weather specialist, Ana Clauren-Jorda, forecasts that Egay could reach tropical storm status within the next 12 hours. It may further escalate into a super typhoon by Monday while in the vicinity of the Philippines.
“Egay is expected to move slowly in the next 24 hours and will generally track west-northwestward until late Sunday before turning northwestward over the Philippine Sea east of Luzon for the remainder of the forecast period,” stated Pagasa in its 11 a.m. bulletin.
There is a possibility that Egay could make landfall in the eastern mainland of Cagayan and Batanes. Starting from July 23, the tropical depression is projected to bring 50-100mm of rain to Catanduanes and Northern Samar.
Areas not directly affected by Egay may experience monsoon rains from the enhanced southwest monsoon, potentially impacting the western sections of Mimaropa and Visayas on Sunday, and the western sections of Southern Luzon and Western Visayas on Monday and Tuesday, according to Clauren-Jorda.
Pagasa might raise wind signals in Bicol and Eastern Visayas on July 22 or 23 in response to Egay’s developments.
The weather bureau advises the public and disaster risk reduction and management offices to take all necessary precautions to safeguard life and property. Residents in areas identified as highly or very highly susceptible to hazards should follow evacuation and other instructions from local officials, as stated in Pagasa’s Friday afternoon bulletin.
The potential for flooding and rain-induced landslides remains a concern, particularly in areas identified in hazard maps and localities with significant rainfall in recent days.