'Ursula' slightly intensifies; Eastern Samar now under signal no. 2

TROPICAL Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) Number 2 has been raised over Eastern Samar due to Tropical Storm "Ursula" as it slightly intensifies while moving west northwest towards Eastern Visayas.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said the center of the tropical storm was last seen at 670 kilometers east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte as of 4 p.m. Monday, December 23, 2019.

Ursula moves west northwest at 30 kilometers per hour (km/h) with maximum sustained winds of 75 km/h near the center and gusts up to 90 km/h.

Pagasa has raised TCWS Number 2 over Eastern Samar (Guiuan), while TCWS Number 1 has been hoisted over the following areas:

Luzon

* Quezon (Buenavista, Calauag, Catanauan, General Luna, Guinayangan, Lopez, Macalelon, Mulanay, San Andres, San Francisco, San Narciso, and Tagkawayan)

* Camarines Sur

* Camarines Norte

* Catanduanes

* Albay

* Marinduque

* Romblon

* Sorsogon

* Masbate, including Ticao and Burias Islands

Visayas

* The rest of Eastern Samar

* Northern Samar

* Biliran

* Leyte

* Southern Leyte

* Northern Cebu (Carmen, Asturias, Tuburan, Catmon, Sogod, Borbon, Tabuelan, Tabogon, San Remigio, Bogo, Medellin, Daanbantayan, Bantayan Islands, and Camotes Islands)

* Central Cebu (Aloguinsan, Carcar, Pinamungahan, San Fernando, Naga, Toledo, Minglanila, Balamban, Talisay, Cebu City, Cordova, Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, and Danao)

* Northeastern Bohol (Inabanga, Danao, Dagohoy, Pilar, Guindulman, Anda, Candijay, Alicia, Buenavista, Jetafe, Talibon, Trinidad, Bien Unido, San Miguel, Ubay, Mabini, and Pres. Carlos P. Garcia)

* Aklan

* Antique

* Capiz

* Iloilo

* Guimaras

* Northern Negros Occidental (Bacolod, Bago, Cadiz, Calatrava, Enrique B. Magalona, Escalante, La Carlota, La Castellana, Manapla, Moises Padilla, Binalbagan, Hinigaran, Isabela, Murcia, Pontevedra, Pulupandan, Sagay, Salvador Benedicto, San Carlos, San Enrique, Silay, Talisay, Toboso, Valladolid, and Victorias)

* Northern Negros Oriental (Canlaon, Guihulngan, Jimalaud, La Libertad, and Vallehermoso)

Mindanao

* Dinagat Islands

* Surigao del Norte including Siargao Islands

Pagasa said damaging winds associated with the tropical storm may begin to affect the areas under TCWS Number 2 on Tuesday afternoon, December 24, and may bring light to moderate to high-risk structures.

It said strong winds may begin to affect northeastern Mindanao and the rest of Eastern Visayas on Tuesday morning, the southern portion of Bicol region and some portions of Central Visayas on Tuesday afternoon, and some portions of Western Visayas on Tuesday evening and may bring light damage to medium to high-risk structures.

Pagasa said between Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, December 25, moderate to heavy rains will be experienced over Dinagat Islands, Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands, Eastern Visayas, Romblon, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, and the northern portions of Cebu and Negros Occidental, while Bicol Region, Quezon, Marinduque and the rest of Visayas and Surigao del Norte will experience light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains.

On Wednesday morning and late evening, moderate to heavy rains will be experienced over Mindoro provinces, Marinduque, Romblon, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, and the northern portion of Palawan including Cuyo and Calamian Islands, while Calabarzon will experience light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains.

Pagasa advised residents in the aforementioned areas to take appropriate measures to reduce the potential impact of flooding and rain-induced landslides, especially in areas identified to be highly to very highly susceptible to these hazards.

Pagasa said suspension of maritime activities may be experienced in areas where TCWS is in effect, adding that TCWS Number 1 may be raised over Oriental Mindoro in the next Severe Weather Bulletin.

Pagasa said moderate to rough seas will prevail over the eastern seaboards of the country on Monday. However, it said rough to very rough seas may be experienced over the northern and eastern seaboards of Bicol Region and the eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas and Caraga Region Monday evening or Tuesday morning.

As such, the weather bureau said sea travel is risky over these areas, especially for small sea vessels.

Ursula is forecast to gradually intensify to at most a Severe Tropical Storm category prior to its landfall over Eastern Visayas in the afternoon or evening on Tuesday. (EZN/SunStar Philippines)