MANILA, Philippines – Severe Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin) slightly weakened back into a tropical storm while crossing the northern part of the Davao Region late Friday morning, December 22.
It had made landfall in Cateel, Davao Oriental at 1:45 am on Friday. (READ: Nearly 16,000 evacuate as Vinta hits Davao Oriental)
In a bulletin issued 11 am, state weather bureau PAGASA said Vinta is already in the vicinity of Malaybalay, Bukidnon, moving west at a slightly slower 18 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 20 km/h.
Vinta now has maximum winds of 80 km/h from the previous 90 km/h and gustiness of up to 130 km/h from the previous 155 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)
Fewer areas are under signal number 2:
Signal number 1, meanwhile, is up over:
Though Vinta has slightly weakened, scattered to widespread rains will continue in the Visayas and Mindanao within the next 24 hours. Residents of these areas should be on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. (READ: What are the hazard-prone areas along Vinta's path?)
Sea travel is also risky in areas under signal numbers 1 and 2. Thousands of passengers have been stranded due to Vinta. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)
PAGASA earlier warned the public to take Vinta seriously, saying they should prepare and closely monitor updates.
The tropical storm is still expected to cross Caraga, Northern Mindanao, the Zamboanga Peninsula, and southern Palawan.
It will then leave PAR on Christmas Eve, December 24.
Image courtesy of PAGASA
Eastern Visayas is still reeling from the damage wrought by Tropical Depression Urduja (Kai-tak), which battered the region as a tropical storm. National disaster management authorities said 45 people were killed and 46 others remain missing. Urduja left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) last Tuesday, December 19.
Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon will bring scattered rain to Luzon, but PAGASA said there will be "no significant impact." – Rappler.com