(Eagle News)–Tropical Depression “Ofel”  maintained its strength on Wednesday afternoon as it moved towards the Marinduque-Romblon area after making its third landfall in Burias Island, Masbate.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Batangas, the southern portion of Laguna (Luisiana, Majayjay, Liliw, Nagcarlan, Rizal, San Pablo City, Calauan, Alaminos, Los Baños, Bay, Magdalena), the central and southern portions of Quezon (Guinayangan, Tagkawayan, Buenavista, San Narciso, San Andres, Mulanay, San Francisco, Catanauan, Lopez, Calauag, Quezon, Alabat, Perez, Atimonan, Tayabas City, Mauban, Sampaloc, Lucban, Gumaca, General Luna, Macalelon, Pitogo, Unisan, Plaridel, Padre Burgos, Agdangan, Pagbilao, Lucena City, Sariaya, Candelaria, Dolores, Tiaong, San Antonio), Calamian Islands, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, and Masbate (including Ticao and Burias Islands) are under Signal No. 1 with “Ofel” located 105 kilometers west of Juban, Sorsogon, packing maximum  sustained winds of 45 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph.

“Ofel” is moving westward at 10 kph, PAGASA said.

According to the weather bureau, “Ofel” will move west-northwestward or westward over the inland seas of Southern Luzon and may pass close or over Romblon and Mindoro Provinces.

It is likely to emerge over the West Philippine Sea on tomorrow morning and exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Friday morning or afternoon.

“Ofel” is forecast to remain a tropical depression while crossing the Southern Luzon area, but is expected to intensify into a tropical storm after emerging over the West Philippine Sea.

Today through tomorrow morning, PAGASA said “Ofel” will bring moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Bicol Region, CALABARZON, Aurora, Marinduque, Romblon, and Mindoro Provinces, and light to moderate with at times heavy rains  over Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, rest of Central Luzon.

Meanwhile, the southwest monsoon will bring moderate to heavy rains over Caraga, Davao Region, and Sarangani, and light to moderate with at times heavy rains over the rest of Mindanao.

Flooding (including flashfloods) and rain-induced landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged rainfall especially in areas that are highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards.

The weather bureau said strong- to near gale-force winds will be experienced in areas under signal number one during the passage of the tropical depression.

Occasional gusts associated with the northeasterly surface wind flow enhanced by “Ofel” and Tropical Storm “Nangka” (outside PAR) may be experienced over Batanes, the northern and eastern portions of Cagayan (including Babuyan Islands), the northern portions of Apayao, Ilocos Norte, and Quezon, the eastern portion of Isabela, and Aurora, especially in coastal and mountainous areas.

PAGASA said a gale warning is in effect over the seaboards of Batanes and Ilocos Norte and the northern seaboard of Cagayan including Babuyan Islands due to rough seas associated with the northeasterly surface wind flow.

Sea travel is risky over these areas, especially for those using small seacraft.

Moderate to rough seas due to “Ofel,” on the other hand, will be experienced over the eastern seaboards of Luzon and Visayas in the next 24 hours, especially in areas where signal number one is in effect.

Those with small seacraft are advised not to venture out to sea over these areas.