BACOLOD CITY, Philippines — Tropical Storm Ursula (international name: Phanfone) is expected to “gradually intensify” to most Severe Tropical Storm category before it makes landfall over Eastern Visayas at afternoon or evening of 24 December.
Weather bureau PAGASA Severe Weather Bulletin #2 issued 11 a.m. today reveals that Ursula “slightly accelerates” while maintaining strength.
Maritime activities might be suspended in areas where Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) is in effect. TCWS#1 may be raised over the rest of Bohol, rest of Cebu, northern Negros Occidental, Guimaras, eastern portion of Aklan, Capiz, northern Iloilo, Romblon, Albay and Burias Island in the next Severe Weather Bulletin.
At 10:00 AM today, the center Ursula was spotted at 790 km East Northeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur. It is moving west northwest at 30 km/h, with maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 80 km/h.
The weather bureau said “moderate to rough seas will prevail over the eastern seaboards of the country today, while “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 beginning tonight or tomorrow morning”.
Sea travel is risky over these areas, especially for small seacrafts, PAGASA added.
Strong winds associated with Ursula might be felt in Eastern Visayas and northeastern Mindanao tomorrow morning; southern portion of Bicol Region and some portions of Central Visayas tomorrow afternoon.
This may bring light damage to medium to high-risk structures.
Moderate to heavy rains would be felt over Dinagat Islands, Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands, Eastern Visayas, Sorsogon, Masbate, Romblon, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras, and the northern portions of Cebu and Negros Occidental; light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains would be felt over Quezon and the rest of Visayas, Bicol Region and Surigao del Norte.
PAGASA warned residents in these 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.