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Signal No. 1 up over 5 areas.

Public storm warning signal no. 1 has been raised over five areas as tropical depression "Mario" intensified into a storm before noon Thursday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

Signal No. 1 was hoisted over Catanduanes, Isabela, Aurora, Cagayan, and Calayan and Babuyan Islands.

PAGASA senior weather forecaster Mario Palafox said "Mario" has maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

It was located at 477 kilometers (km) east of Virac, Catanduanes at around 8 a.m. Thursday.

The weather disturbance is forecast to move west-northwest at 24 kph. Should it maintain its speed and direction, "Mario" is expected to make landfall over northeastern Cagayan on Friday evening, Palafox said.

"It is expected to intensify further into a severe tropical storm before its landfall on Friday, and may become a typhoon after crossing the Luzon landmass," Palafox explained.

The combined effects of southwest monsoon or habagat and tropical storm may trigger flash floods and landslides in Bicol Region and Eastern Visayas.

"Concentration of rainfall on Thursday evening is expected over Bicol Region (Albay, Catanduanes, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Masbate, Sorsogon), Southern Luzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon, Marinduque, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Romblon, Palawan), and the entire Visayas region," he said.

"By Friday morning, rainfall concentration will be over east of Northern Luzon, Southern Luzon, including Metro Manila. By evening on Friday until Saturday, the whole Northern Luzon up to Metro Manila will experience moderate to heavy rains," he added.

By Friday morning, Mario is expected at 172 km east of Casiguran, Aurora. By Saturday morning, it will be at 97 km north-northwest of Aparri, Cagayan and 470 km north-northeast of Aparri, Cagayan or 247 km north-northeast of Basco, Batanes by Sunday. It is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility by Sunday, as it moves toward east of Southern Taiwan.

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Title Annotation:Breaking News
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Sep 18, 2014
Words:316
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