Ofel on the way out of PH

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    STORM signal warnings were lifted yesterday as tropical depression “Ofel” started moving out of the country.

    Ofel was forecast to be out of the Philippine area of responsibility today.

    As of 3 p.m. yesterday, the center of weather disturbance was some 340 km west northwest of Tanauan City, Batangas or 250 km west of Subic, Zambales, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

    Ofel was moving west northwestward at 25 kph, packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 55 kph.

    PAGASA said Ofel had been expected to weaken into a low pressure last night or this morning.

    Ofel developed into a tropical depression on Tuesday and brought moderate to intense rains in many parts of the country. It made five landfalls on Wednesday– the first in Can-avid, Eastern Samar and the last was in San Juan, Batangas.

    Although signal warnings have been lifted, the Visayas and several regions will continue to experience cloudy skies with scattered rain showers and thunderstorms due to Ofel and the southwest monsoon. These are Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, Caraga, Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula, and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, and Central Luzon.

    PAGASA said the rest of the country will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rain showers due to localized thunderstorms and southwest monsoon.

    Some areas in Visayas, specifically in Cebu and Iloilo, were flooded due to rains. Five people were reported to have drowned, one was missing and hundreds were displaced.