STORM SKIRTS PALAU, HEADS FOR PHILIPPINES

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By Mar-Vic Cagurangan

KOROR (Palau Horizon, March 6) - The tropical storm expected to enter the Palau states of Koror and Kayangel yesterday moved away from its previously forecasted direction, but another one is brewing on the same frontier, according to the National Weather Service.

[PIR editor’s note: Koror State is a small island just south of, and connected by bridge, to the largest island of Babeldaob. Kayangel State is the northernmost group of islands in the Palau islands’ chain.]

The National Weather Service also retained the tropical storm watch over Sonsorol State [one of the southernmost islands in Palau], which is expected to experience force winds in the afternoon today and throughout the evening, with rainfall of four to eight inches.

"Portions of Palau are now in tropical storm condition 3," the National Weather Service said in its 12-noon advisory.

The National Weather Service said the tropical depression has behaved erratically so far, and thus advised Palau residents to pay close attention to the latest weather updates

The new tropical depression moving toward Koror and Kayangel is expected to pass well south of Koror late morning today.

[PIR editor’s note: The Tropical Storm Risk website predicts that the storm will move south of Palau in a westerly direction and reach the southern Philippines within 48 hours.]

As of 12-noon, the National Weather Service forecasted that tropical storm force winds of 39 miles per hour or more were not expected within 24 hours but were still possible within 48 hours.

Its poorly defined center was estimated 245 miles of southeast of Koror and 270 miles southeast of Kayangel.

With maximum sustained winds of 30 miles per hour, the tropical depression had been nearly stationary but appears to be starting a westward movement.

The National Weather Service warned that surfing would be hazardous along north, northeast, and east until tomorrow.

March 7, 2006

Marianas Variety: www.mvariety.com

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