Severe Tropical Storm Vinta makes 2nd landfall in Palawan

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MANILA, Philippines – Severe Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin) made its 2nd landfall in Balabac, Palawan late Saturday evening, December 23.

In a bulletin issued 11 pm on Saturday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Vinta is already in the vicinity of Balabac, or 285 kilometers southwest of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. It is moving west at a slightly faster 23 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 22 km/h.

Vinta also slightly strengthened as it hit Balabac, and now has maximum winds of 105 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 100 km/h and gustiness of up to 145 km/h from the previous 135 km/h. (READ: EXPLAINER: How tropical cyclones form)

The severe tropical storm earlier made landfall in Cateel, Davao Oriental at 1:45 am on Friday, December 22. (READ: Nearly 16,000 evacuate as Vinta hits Davao Oriental)

Southern Palawan remains under signal number 2, while northern Palawan is still under signal number 1. Moderate to heavy rain will persist in the province, which may trigger flash floods and landslides.

PAGASA also said light to heavy rain is still expected in the western parts of the Visayas and Mindanao within the next 24 hours. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Sea travel also remains risky in Palawan, the southern seaboard of the Mindoro provinces, and the western seaboards of the Zamboanga Peninsula, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi. Thousands of passengers have been stranded due to Vinta.

The severe tropical storm has left more than 100 people dead, amid massive floods and landslides.

Lanao del Sur – which has been placed under a state of calamity – and Cagayan de Oro are among the areas that experienced heavy flooding. Hundreds of residents also evacuated in Davao City after a river overflowed. (READ: #ReliefPH: Help victims of Vinta)

Vinta could intensify into a typhoon before it leaves the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Christmas Eve, December 24, either in the morning or afternoon.

Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Vinta as of December 23, 11 pm. Image courtesy of PAGASA

Forecast track of Severe Tropical Storm Vinta as of December 23, 11 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. Urduja left PAR last Tuesday, December 19, after leaving at least 45 people dead and around P1 billion in agricultural damage.

Meanwhile, the tail-end of a cold front will bring light to heavy rain to parts of Mimaropa, Bicol, and Quezon. PAGASA warned that there could be flash floods and landslides.

The northeast monsoon is also affecting Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, and Cordillera, but PAGASA said there will be "no significant impact." – Rappler.com