A LOW-pressure area spotted off Mindanao had become a tropical depression and could soon intensify into a typhoon in the next 24 hours, the local weather bureau said on Sunday. 

The tropical depression was seen 1,955 kilometers east of Mindanao at about 3 p.m., the agency said in a 4 p.m. weather forecast posted on its website. 

It had maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center, and gustiness of up to 70 kph. It was moving westward at 15 kph, it added. 

“The tropical depression is forecast to gradually intensify and may reach tropical storm category within the next 24 hours,” the agency earlier said in a separate bulletin. 

The cyclone is expected to enter the Philippine areas on Tuesday, after which it will be assigned named Odette, it added. 

“By Wednesday evening or Thursday morning, the tropical cyclone will begin to move westward and may make landfall over the Eastern Visayas-Caraga area,” it said. “Due to favorable environmental conditions, the tropical cyclone will likely continue to intensify and may reach typhoon category by Tuesday evening or Wednesday early morning.” 

The public and disaster risk reduction and management offices should continue monitoring for updates related to the tropical cyclone. — Norman P. Aquino