Tropical Depression 'Ester' strengthens slightly, heads for Taiwan

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 15) — Tropical Depression Ester has slightly intensified while heading for Taiwan, as it continues to pull the southwest monsoon winds.

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the center of Ester was last spotted at 295 km northwest of Basco, Batanes as of 3 p.m.

It has maximum sustained winds of 60 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 90 kph. Ester is slowly moving eastward.

Ester is expected to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility between Friday night and Saturday morning.

Monsoon rains will continue to batter Ilocos Region, Cordillera Administrative Region, Batanes, Babuyan Group of Islands, Tarlac, Pampanga, Zambales and Bataan.

The state weather bureau warned residents near low-lying and mountainous areas to take caution against possible flood and landslides. It also warned that sea travel is risky over the seaboards of Northern Luzon and the western seaboard of Central Luzon.