MANILA, Philippines – The weather state bureau Pagasa reported Monday (23 December 2019) storm Signal No. 1 was raised in parts of Visayas and Mindanao as a tropical storm with international name “Phanfone” entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR).
“Ursula” is its local name and it was last spotted 900 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur Pagasa said, packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph. It was moving northwest at 25 kph.
Storm Signal No. 1 is up in Eastern Samar in the Visayas and so with Dinagat Islands and the insular municipalities of Surigao del Norte namely, Burgos, Sta. Monica, San Isidro, San Benito, Del Carmen, Pilar, Dapa, General Luna, and Socorro.
Pagasa warned of strong winds that could begin to affect these areas and could bring light damage to medium and high-risk structures starting Tuesday morning.
Maritime activities are also suspended in areas with storm signals.
Pagasa advised against sea travel for small boats over the northern and eastern seaboards of the Bicol Region and the eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas and Caraga Region with rough to very rough seas expected starting Monday evening.
Pagasa weather specialist Loridien Dela Cruz said Ursula may intensify into a severe tropical storm before it makes landfall over Eastern Visayas on Tuesday afternoon or evening, Christmas eve. It may reach Central Visayas on Christmas Day. (IAMIGO/CNS)