Typhoon Vinta leaves PAR on Christmas Eve

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MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Vinta (Tembin) left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) late Sunday morning, December 24, Christmas Eve, after triggering massive floods and landslides that left more than 200 people dead. It was the country's 22nd tropical cyclone for 2017.

In a bulletin issued 10:30 am on Sunday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Vinta is already 290 kilometers south of Pag-asa Island, Palawan, or outside PAR. It is moving west at a slightly faster 26 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 25 km/h.

The typhoon maintained its strength as it left, with maximum winds of 120 km/h and gustiness of up to 145 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)

While Vinta is already outside, PAGASA warned that moderate to heavy rain will still persist in Palawan, especially in the southern part of the province. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Sea travel also remains risky in the western seaboard of Palawan. Thousands of passengers were earlier stranded in various ports in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Vinta made landfall in the country twice as a severe tropical storm – first in Cateel, Davao Oriental early Friday, December 22, then in Balabac, Palawan late Saturday, December 23. (READ: Nearly 16,000 evacuate as Vinta hits Davao Oriental)

Most of the fatalities were from Lanao del Norte, which has since been placed under a state of calamity. Lanao del Sur was also earlier placed under a state of calamity. Other areas that experienced heavy flooding include Cagayan de Oro and Davao City. (READ: #ReliefPH: Help victims of Vinta)

Vinta had struck right after Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak), which battered Eastern Visayas. Urduja left more than 50 people dead and around P1 billion in agricultural damage.

Forecast track of Typhoon Vinta as of December 24, 10:30 am. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Forecast track of Typhoon Vinta as of December 24, 10:30 am.

Image courtesy of PAGASA

On Christmas Eve, Eastern Visayas, Bicol, and Quezon will have light to moderate rain due to the easterlies. PAGASA warned of possible flash floods and landslides.

Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, and Ilocos, meanwhile, will have isolated rainshowers due to the northeast monsoon, but PAGASA said there will be "no significant impact."

The rest of the country, including Metro Manila, will also have localized thunderstorms. – Rappler.com