Flights to northern areas canceled as typhoon Obet brings rain, winds 


FLIGHTS from the capital Manila to three airports in northern provinces were canceled on Thursday due to tropical depression Obet, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP).   

PAL Express’ flight to and from Batanes, which was placed under tropical wind signal #1, was called off.   

Flights from Manila to Tuguegarao City in Cagayan and to Cauayan City in Isabela were also canceled, CAAP said.  

“CAAP airport managers remain on high alert and are closely supervising their respective airports; while situation reports are also continuously monitored and consolidated by the CAAP Operations Center,” the agency said.   

The center of tropical depression Obet was located 650 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes as of Thursday afternoon, based on state weather agency PAGASA’s 5 p.m. bulletin.   

“Obet is forecast to gradually intensify and may reach tropical storm category by tomorrow evening or on Saturday early morning” as it crosses extreme northern Luzon, PAGASA said.  

Apart from Batanes, tropical wind signal #1 was also up over Babuyan Islands and the northeastern part of Cagayan.   

PAGASA warned of moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, Apayao, and the northern portions of Ilocos Norte and mainland Cagayan from Friday to Saturday morning.  

Cagayan’s provincial information office on Thursday reported flooding in several towns, including those that were also inundated during the two successive typhoons last week.   

Landslides in several areas have also been reported.   

PAGASA said prior to the onset of tropical cyclone winds, “prevailing northeasterly surface windflow will continue to bring strong to gale-force winds over Batanes, Babuyan Islands, and the northern portions of mainland Cagayan, Apayao, and Ilocos Norte in the next 24 hours.”   

The tropical depression is forecast to move west-southwestward until Friday morning while accelerating, then turn westward towards Luzon Strait. — MSJ

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