Tropical Depression 03W is forecast to pass directly over the main island in the archipelago nation of Palau on Sunday, March 17, bringing strong winds, heavy rain, and consequent disruptions. The storm, which formed near Yap (Micronesia), and as of 12:00 (local time) on Saturday, March 16, is producing wind gusts of up to 65 kph (40 mph) along with waves of 4 m (13 ft). A tropical storm watch is in effect for portions of Yap state (Micronesia) and Palau. Heavy rain, strong winds, and high storm surge is expected to bring flooding to the affected areas; associated power, telecommunication, and transportation disruptions possible.
Tropical cyclones and typhoons occur throughout the year in the west Pacific, though are most common from May through October.
Individuals in Palau and Micronesia are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate severe weather, flooding, and consequent power, telecommunication, and transportation disruptions, and remember that walking or driving through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of moving water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater and chemical products; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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