Tropical Depression Vinta off to Sulu Sea after hitting Mindanao

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Depression Vinta (Tembin) began moving toward the Sulu Sea early Friday evening, December 22, after making its way through Mindanao.

In a bulletin issued 8 pm on Friday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Vinta is already in the vicinity of Naga, Zamboanga Sibugay, still moving west at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h).

The tropical depression continues to have maximum winds of 60 km/h and gustiness of up to 90 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)

Vinta had made landfall in Cateel, Davao Oriental as a severe tropical storm at 1:45 am on Friday. (READ: Nearly 16,000 evacuate as Vinta hits Davao Oriental)

So far, at least 3 people have been reported dead while 6 others are missing in the wake of Vinta's onslaught.

Signal number 1 is raised over:

Scattered to widespread rains will continue in the Visayas and Western Mindanao within the next 24 hours. PAGASA warned that these could trigger more flash floods and landslides.

Heavy flooding has already hit parts of Mindanao, including Lanao del Sur and Cagayan de Oro. (READ: #ReliefPH: Help victims of Vinta)

Sea travel also remains risky in areas under signal number 1. Thousands of passengers have been stranded due to Vinta. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

After crossing the Sulu Sea, Vinta's last stop in the Philippines would be southern Palawan.

It will then leave PAR on Christmas Eve, December 24.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Vinta as of December 22, 8 pm. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Vinta as of December 22, 8 pm.

Image courtesy of PAGASA

Eastern Visayas is still reeling from the damage wrought by Tropical Depression Urduja (Kai-tak), which battered the region as a tropical storm. National disaster management authorities said 45 people were killed and 46 others remain missing. Urduja left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) last Tuesday, December 19.

Meanwhile, the northeast monsoon will continue to bring scattered rain to Luzon, but PAGASA said there will be "no significant impact." – Rappler.com