Tropical Storm Urduja slightly weakens again over Samar

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak) slightly weakened again late Saturday evening, December 16, while over the northern part of Samar province.

The tropical storm has left at least 3 people dead and 6 others missing, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). It had made landfall in San Policarpo, Eastern Samar early Saturday afternoon.

In a bulletin issued 11 pm on Saturday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Urduja remains in the vicinity of San Jose de Buan, Samar, moving west at 13 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The tropical storm now has maximum winds of 65 km/h from the previous 75 km/h and gustiness of up to 110 km/h from the previous 120 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)

Signal number 2 is raised over:

Signal number 1, meanwhile, is up in:

PAGASA said residents of provinces in the tropical storm's path "must undertake appropriate measures against flooding and landslides and coordinate with their respective local government and disaster risk reduction and management offices." (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Below are the top 5 areas which received the most rainfall in terms of millimeters (mm) on Friday, December 15.

In a 24-hour period that began last Thursday, December 14, Guiuan had received nearly two months' worth of rainfall in just one day, making it the hardest-hit overall, so far.

Meanwhile, sea travel remains risky in seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone warning signals. Thousands of passengers have been stranded at various ports.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) earlier activated the government's national disaster response operation to assist areas affected by the tropical storm. (READ: #ReliefPH: Help victims of Urduja)

Based on its forecast track, Urduja will eventually get downgraded back to a tropical depression by Sunday, December 17, then leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Tuesday, December 19 or Wednesday, December 20.

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Urduja as of December 16, 11 pm. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Urduja as of December 16, 11 pm.

Image courtesy of PAGASA

Aside from Urduja, PAGASA is also monitoring a tropical depression located 2,275 kilometers east of Mindanao, still outside PAR. It has maximum winds of 40 km/h and gustiness of up to 50 km/h.

The tropical depression will be given the local name Vinta once it enters next week. – Rappler.com