MANILA -- The low pressure area (LPA) east of extreme northern Luzon has developed into a tropical depression (TD), and was named "Ester," the weather bureau said Friday afternoon.

Ester was last tracked 845 kilometers east of extreme northern Luzon, moving west northwestward at 15 kph.

It packs maximum sustained winds of 45 kph near the center, and gustiness of up to 55 kph.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration forecast Ester and the southwest monsoon to bring scattered rain showers and thunderstorms over the Bicol Region, Mindoro provinces, Samar provinces, Batangas, Quezon, Marinduque, and Romblon.

The areas may experience flash floods or landslides during moderate to at times heavy rains.

Other areas in the country will continue to experience isolated rain showers caused by localized thunderstorms.

Light to moderate seas and slight to moderate seas will also continue to prevail over the entire country, PAGASA said. (PNA)