Ursula gains strength; parts of Samar and Leyte under Signal Number 2

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BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – Tropical Storm Ursula gains strength as it moves west at 30 km/h, with maximum sustained winds of 85 kmh near the center and gustiness of up to 105 kmh.

The weather bureau PAGASA has placed Eastern Samar, Samar, Leyte and Biliran under storm signal number 2, while a large part of Luzon, Central, Eastern, and Western Visayas including Bacolod and 24 towns and cities in Negros Occidental remain at signal number 1.

What to expect

At signal number 1, PAGASA says to expect winds of 30-60 kmh in at least 36 hours or intermittent rains may be expected within 36 hours.

Residents are advised to inspect their houses if necessary repairs are needed, to clean up drainage system, to harvest crops that can be yielded, and to monitor the latest Severe Weather Bulletin issued every six hours and hourly updates.

Winds under signal number 1 could be strong enough to “partially unroof” houses made from very light materials like nipa, and cogon.

Unless this warning signal is upgraded during Rice crop, especially during the flowering stage, may suffer significant damage.

Under signal number 2

Areas under signal number 2 could experience winds of greater than 61 kmh and up to 120 kmh in at least 24 hours.

Wind impact could include some coconut trees to be tilted while few others broken; few big trees may be uprooted, while many banana plants may be downed.

Rice and corn could also be adversely affected while large number of nipa and cogon houses may be partially or totally unroofed and some old galvanized iron roofings may be peeled off.

General safety advice

PAGASA warns residents in affected 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.

Sea travel remains risky thus all maritime activities are suspended in areas with storm signals.

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