MANILA (UPDATED) - Tropical Storm Dante slowed down further on Thursday night as it continued to traverse the West Philippine Sea, the state weather bureau said.
In its 11 p.m. weather bulletin, PAGASA said the storm is now moving north at 20 kilometers per hour (kph) from its 25 kph speed hours earlier.
Dante, the country's fourth tropical cyclone this year, was last spotted 260 kilometers west northwest of Sinait, Ilocos Sur as of 10 p.m., packing maximum sustained winds of 65 kph near the center with gusts of up to 80 kph.
It is forecast to maintain its strength as it approaches close to the southern portion of Taiwan Friday evening.
Based on PAGASA's forecast track, Dante will be outside the Philippine area of responsibility by Saturday.
All storm signals have been lifted.
Despite this, however, PAGASA said gale warning is still effective over North Luzon's northern and western seaboards, as steep waves between 2.5 meters to 4.5 meters could still be experienced.
The state weather agency warned against sea travel in these waters.
"Mariners of small seacrafts are advised to take precautionary measures when venturing out to sea. Inexperienced mariners
should avoid navigating in these conditions," the agency added.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRMMC), aside from the 4 who reportedly died due to the storm, 2 people were also hurt and 7 people were missing in Visayas and Mindanao.
The NDRRMC report does not include the two deaths announced in Calubian, Leyte
The storm, which wreaked havoc earlier this week, caused P16.12 million worth of damage in the agricultural sector in Mindanao.
Some P268.5 worth of infrastructure damage was also recorded in Mindanao and parts of the Visayas.
Dante entered the Philippine area of responsibility early Sunday.
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