By NITZ ARANCON
THE Philippine Atmos-pheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration yesterday sounded alarm bells as a low pressure area that has the potentials of turning into a storm moved closer to Mindanao.
Luz Mercado, a weather specialist at the Pagasa station in El Salvador City, the weather system acquired a relatively wide cloud band circulation, affecting Caraga, northern Mindanao, Davao and the Soccsksargen area, among others.
The low pressure area was spotted 355 kilometers east off Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur as of 3 am yesterday.
Mercado said it was moving towards the direction of Bohol.
There is a chance, she said, that it could develop into a tropical depression. If it does, it would be called “Tino” by Pagasa.
Mercado advised officials and citizens in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental and elsewhere in Mindanao to prepare for bad weather and its possible effects like flashfloods in low-lying areas, and landslides.
She said those living near bodies of water should start taking precautions.
Yesterday, Caraga, northern Mindanao, the Zamboanga peninsul, the Davao region, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and Soccsksargen saw cloudy skies with scattered to widespread rains and thunderstorms due to low pressure area.
Winds were moderate to occasionally strong coming from the northeast to northwest over the eastern section of Mindanao and the coastal waters in these areas were moderate to occasionally rough.
Pagasa said the rest of Mindanao had light to moderate winds coming from the northeast to northwest with slight to moderate seas.