Tropical Storm Urduja slightly intensifies off Samar

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak) slightly intensified before dawn on Friday, December 15, as it moved slowly off the eastern coast of Samar Island.

In a bulletin issued 5 am on Friday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Urduja now has maximum winds of 75 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 90 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)

The tropical storm is already 205 kilometers east of Borongan, Eastern Samar, moving northwest at just 5 km/h.

Due to Urduja's extremely slow movement, its expected landfall has been pushed back to either Saturday morning or afternoon, December 16.

Signal number 2 remains raised over:

Signal number 1, meanwhile, is still up in:

PAGASA warned that Urduja is bringing moderate to heavy rain within its 500-kilometer diameter.

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," said PAGASA. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Sea travel also remains risky in the eastern seaboards of Bicol and the Visayas. Thousands of passengers were stranded in various ports on Thursday.

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Urduja as of December 15, 5 am. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Urduja as of December 15, 5 am.

Image courtesy of PAGASA

Classes have been suspended in some areas on Friday. (READ: #WalangPasok: Class suspensions, Friday, December 15)  – Rappler.com