MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE 2 – 12:32 p.m.) Classes were suspended in Metro Manila cities Wednesday due to heavy rains brought by the southwest monsoon even as the weather disturbance named “Gorio” intensified from a tropical depression into a tropical storm and slightly slowed.
Classes at all levels in both public and private schools were suspended in Caloocan and Malabon and, in Valenzuela and Navotas, pre-school to senior high school.
Wednesday noon, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada also declared elementary and high school classes suspended but left it to school administrators to decide for colleges and universities.
Quezon City information officer Ares Gutierrez said classes up to senior high in public and private schools are suspended in the city.
The following schools have also announced class suspensions: Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Valenzuela, Valenzuela City Polytechnic College, Our Lady of Fatima University Valenzuela (preschool to high school), and De La Salle Araneta (all levels).
As of 10 a.m., Gorio was tracked 595 kilometers east of Casiguran, Aurora, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.
The storm will enhance the southwest monsoon, or “habagat,” which will bring moderate to occasionally heavy rains over the western section of Luzon and light to moderate rains over the rest of Luzon and the Visayas.
Estimated rainfall within the 400-kilometer diameter of the storm is forecast to be moderate to heavy.
Pagasa said Gorio is packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour near the center with gusts of up to 80 kilometers per hour, and moving north-northwest at 13 kilometers per hour.
Thursday morning, Gorio is forecast to be 595 kilometers east of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan and 425 kilometers east of Basco, Batanes a day after that.
The storm is not expected to make landfall and is forecast to exit the Philippine area of responsibility by Monday morning.