Tropical Storm Urduja slightly weakens after landfall
MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak) slightly weakened late Saturday afternoon, December 16, after making landfall in San Policarpo, Eastern Samar.
The tropical storm has left at least 3 people dead and 6 others missing, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).
In a bulletin issued 5 pm on Saturday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Urduja is already in the vicinity of San Jose de Buan, Samar, still moving west at 15 kilometers per hour (km/h).
The tropical storm now has maximum winds of 75 km/h from the previous 80 km/h and gustiness of up to 120 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)
Signal number 2 is raised over:
- Masbate including Ticao Island
- Northern Samar
- northern part of Eastern Samar
- northern part of Samar
- northern Iloilo
Signal number 1, meanwhile, is up in:
- southern Quezon
- southern Oriental Mindoro
- southern Occidental Mindoro
- Camarines Sur
- Burias Island
- northern Palawan
- Cuyo Island
- Calamian Group of Islands
- southern Iloilo
- southern part of Samar
- southern part of Eastern Samar
- Negros Occidental
- northern Negros Oriental
- northern Cebu
Floods and landslides have hit Eastern Samar, while Tacloban City is under a state of calamity. (LOOK: Houses in Eastern Samar flooded due to Urduja)
PAGASA said residents of provinces in the tropical storm's path "must undertake appropriate measures against flooding and landslides and coordinate with their respective local government and disaster risk reduction and management offices." (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Below are the top 5 areas which received the most rainfall in terms of millimeters (mm) on Friday, December 15.
- Catarman, Northern Samar – 347.4 mm (normal monthly rainfall: 628.2 mm)
- Catbalogan, Samar – 331.2 mm (normal monthly rainfall: 322.7 mm)
- Juban, Sorsogon – 162 mm (no amount given for normal monthly rainfall)
- Borongan, Eastern Samar – 155 mm (normal monthly rainfall: 674.8 mm)
- Guiuan, Eastern Samar – 109.6 mm (normal monthly rainfall: 440.1 mm)
In a 24-hour period that began last Thursday, December 14, Guiuan had received nearly two months' worth of rainfall in just one day, making it the hardest-hit overall, so far.
Meanwhile, sea travel remains risky in seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone warning signals. Thousands of passengers have been stranded at various ports.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) earlier activated the government's national disaster response operation to assist areas affected by the tropical storm.
Based on its forecast track, Urduja will eventually get downgraded back to a tropical depression by Sunday, December 17, then leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Tuesday, December 19 or Wednesday, December 20.
Aside from Urduja, PAGASA is also monitoring a tropical depression located 2,135 kilometers east of Mindanao, still outside PAR. This tropical depression will be given the local name Vinta once it enters next week. – Rappler.com