Typhoon Ursula heads for Mindoro after 6 Visayas landfalls

Acor Arceo
Typhoon Ursula heads for Mindoro after 6 Visayas landfalls
Typhoon Ursula's 6th landfall is in Caluya Island, Antique, at 1 pm on Christmas Day

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MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Ursula (Phanfone) headed for the southern portions of Oriental Mindoro and Occidental Mindoro in Luzon early Wednesday afternoon, December 25, after lashing the Visayas with fierce winds and intense rain.

In a bulletin issued past 2 pm on Wednesday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ursula is already 70 kilometers southeast of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro.

The typhoon is still moving west at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h). It maintained its strength, with maximum winds of 140 km/h and gustiness of up to 195 km/h.

Ursula has now made landfall 6 times – thrice in Eastern Visayas on Christmas Eve and thrice in Western Visayas on Christmas Day. Another landfall in the Mindoro area is possible.

Tuesday, December 24

Wednesday, December 25

  • Gigantes Islands, Carles, Iloilo – 2:30 am
  • Ibajay, Aklan – 8:40 am
  • Caluya Island, Antique – 1 pm

Ursula’s onslaught triggered heavy flooding and caused serious damage in parts of the Visayas.

When Ursula’s eyewall reaches the Mindoro area, very destructive winds and intense rainfall will be felt there, warned PAGASA.

The World Meteorological Organization defines the eyewall as “an organized band or ring of cumulonimbus clouds that surround the eye, or light-wind center of a tropical cyclone.”

“In case of the passage of the eye…calm conditions will be experienced. However, as soon as the eye moves out of the area, violent conditions associated with the eyewall will resume,” PAGASA said.

The state weather bureau has already lifted tropical cyclone wind signals for Sorsogon and the northern part of Cebu.

But many areas remain under Signal Nos. 1, 2, and 3. (READ: Why is it now called tropical cyclone ‘wind’ – and not ‘warning’ – signals?)

Signal No. 3 (winds of 121 km/h to 170 km/h)

  • Romblon
  • southern part of Oriental Mindoro (Roxas, Mansalay, Bulalacao, Bongabong, Bansud, Pola, Socorro, Pinamalayan, Gloria)
  • southern part of Occidental Mindoro (Calintaan, Rizal, San Jose, Magsaysay, southern part of Sablayan)
  • Calamian Islands (Busuanga, Coron, Culion)

Signal No. 2 (winds of 61 km/h to 120 km/h)

  • Batangas
  • Marinduque
  • rest of Oriental Mindoro
  • rest of Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island
  • Cuyo Islands
  • extreme northern part of mainland Palawan (Linapacan, El Nido, Taytay, Araceli)
  • Capiz
  • Aklan
  • northern part of Antique (Caluya, Libertad, Pandan, Sebaste, Culasi, Tibiao, Barbaza, Laua-an)

Signal No. 1 (winds of 30 km/h to 60 km/h)

  • Bataan
  • Metro Manila
  • Rizal
  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • rest of the northern part of mainland Palawan (Dumaran, San Vicente, Roxas)
  • Cagayancillo Islands
  • Camarines Norte
  • Camarines Sur
  • Quezon
  • Albay
  • Masbate including Burias and Ticao Islands
  • northern part of Negros Occidental (Hinigaran, La Castellana, Pontevedra, La Carlota, San Enrique, Valladolid, Pulupandan, Bago, Murcia, Bacolod, Talisay, Salvador Benedicto, Silay, Enrique B Magalona, Victorias, Manapla, Cadiz, Sagay, Escalante, Toboso, Calatrava)
  • Iloilo
  • Guimaras
  • rest of Antique

The rest of Christmas Day will still be rainy for parts of Luzon and the Visayas. (READ:  FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Occasional to frequent heavy rain with intermittent intense rain

  • Aklan
  • Antique
  • Capiz
  • Romblon
  • Calamian Islands
  • Cuyo Islands
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Oriental Mindoro

Light to moderate rain with isolated heavy rainshowers

  • Bicol
  • rest of Western Visayas
  • Calabarzon
  • Metro Manila
  • Marinduque
  • Aurora
  • northern part of mainland Palawan

There may also be storm surges 1 to 2 meters high within the next 24 hours in these provinces:

  • northern part of Antique
  • Romblon
  • Marinduque
  • Occidental Mindoro
  • Oriental Mindoro
  • Calamian Islands
  • Cuyo Islands

Travel remains risky in the seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone wind signals, the seaboards of Aurora, and the northern and eastern seaboards of Mindanao due to rough waters.

The Philippine Coast Guard said there were at least 23,789 stranded passengers in Bicol, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Southern Tagalog, Northern Mindanao, Western Visayas, and Southern Visayas. Some sea trips have since resumed with the lifting of tropical cyclone wind signals for certain areas.

Dozens of domestic flights were canceled on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as well.

Based on its latest forecast track, Ursula is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Friday, December 27.

Forecast track of Typhoon Ursula (Phanfone) as of December 25, 2019, 2 pm. Image from PAGASA

Ursula is the Philippines’ 21st tropical cyclone for 2019, exceeding the yearly average of 20. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2019)

Ursula is also the second tropical cyclone for December, after Typhoon Tisoy (Kammuri). PAGASA earlier said it was expecting one or two tropical cyclones during the month.

In December 2018, the Philippines had a deadly tropical cyclone during Christmas – Tropical Depression Usman. It left 156 people dead and 105 others injured in Eastern Visayas, Bicol, and Mimaropa, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

PAGASA declared the start of the rainy season last June 14. – Rappler.com

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Acor Arceo

Acor Arceo is the head of copy and editorial standards at Rappler. Trained in both online and TV newsrooms, Acor ensures consistency in editorial standards across all sections and also supervises Rappler’s coverage of disasters.