MANILA, Philippines – State weather bureau PAGASA warned late Friday evening, December 15, that Eastern Visayas will experience more heavy rain as Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak) remains almost stationary.
In a bulletin issued 11 pm on Friday, PAGASA said Urduja is still 240 kilometers east of Borongan, Eastern Samar, where it has stayed for much of Friday. It is inching west northwest at just 7 kilometers per hour (km/h).
PAGASA forecaster Aldczar Aurelio earlier explained that the tropical storm is barely moving because it is interacting with the northeast monsoon and the tail-end of a cold front, which are preventing it from advancing.
Urduja is expected to make landfall in the Eastern Samar-Northern Samar area on Saturday, December 16. Coastal communities in the two provinces are advised to heed authorities’ warnings since there could be more flooding.
So far, Urduja continues to have maximum winds of 75 km/h and gustiness of up to 90 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)
Signal number 2 remains raised over:
- Eastern Samar
- Northern Samar
Signal number 1, meanwhile, is up in:
- Camarines Sur
- Masbate including Burias and Ticao Islands
- Southern Leyte
- northern Cebu
- northern Iloilo
- northern Negros Occidental
- northern Bohol
- Dinagat Islands
PAGASA warned that Urduja is bringing moderate to heavy rain within its 500-kilometer diameter. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
Below are the top 5 areas which received the most rainfall in terms of millimeters (mm), from 8 am of Thursday, December 14, to 8 am of Friday, or a 24-hour period. Guiuan, Eastern Samar is the hardest-hit as it received nearly two months’ worth of rain in just one day.
- Guiuan, Eastern Samar – 780 mm (normal monthly rainfall: 440 mm)
- Borongan, Eastern Samar – 343 mm (normal monthly rainfall: 674.8 mm)
- Catbalogan, Samar – 215 mm (normal monthly rainfall: 322.7 mm)
- Tacloban, Leyte – 192.4 mm (normal monthly rainfall: 386 mm)
- Maasin, Southern Leyte – 95.4 mm (normal monthly rainfall: 226.1 mm)
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.” (LOOK: Bicol braces for Urduja)
Sea travel also remains risky in the eastern seaboards of Bicol, the Visayas, and Caraga.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already 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, and then into a low pressure area by Wednesday, December 20.