'Kiko' maintains strength as it moves away from Philippines

'Kiko' maintains strength as it moves away from Philippines

Track of Tropical Depression "Kiko" according to state weather bureau PAGASA.

MANILA, Philippines — Tropical Depression Kiko has maintained its strength as it started to move away from the country, state weather bureau PAGASA said Wednesday.

In its 5 a.m. weather bulletin, the tropical depression is crossing the Balintang Channel between the Batanes and Babuyan Islands.

Tropical cyclone warning signal No. 1 was still raised over Batanes and Babuyan Group of Islands.

PAGASA warned that areas under Signal No. 1 may damage medium to low risk structures. Also, open sea wave heights along these areas will be from 1.25 to 4 meters high.

As of 4 a.m., "Kiko" was 95 kilometers west of Basco, Batanes, with maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour which can gust up to 65 kph.

Moderate to heavy rainfall is expected within the 250-kilometer diameter of the tropical depression.

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PAGASA warned residents of northern Luzon especially those under tropical cyclone warning signal 1 against possible flashfloods and landslides.

"Fisherfolks and those with small seacrafts are advised not to venture out over the seaboards of Northern Luzon," the state weather bureau said.

The tropical depression was forecast to exit the Philippine area of responsibility on Wednesday evening.