'Urduja' lingers as new storm looms ahead of Christmas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 17 2017 09:32 AM | Updated as of Dec 17 2017 04:39 PM

This satellite image from PAGASA shows tropical depression Urduja swirling over the Samar area.

MANILA - (2nd UPDATE) Tropical depression Urduja (international name: Kai-tak) hovered slowly over the Visayas and Luzon on Sunday after leaving at least 3 people killed, as a new storm threatened to hit the country just days before Christmas.

Packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour and gusts of 90 kph, Urduja slammed into the country's third-largest island Samar on Saturday and tore through a region devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) 4 years ago, the state weather service said.

Urduja was spotted 65 kilometers east southeast of Romblon, Romblon at 1 p.m. as the new storm, which will be named Vinta, neared the eastern coast, at 1,950 kilometers east of Mindanao.

Vinta could follow the same track as Urduja, but is unlikely to affect its movement, PAGASA meteorologist Aldczar Aurelio told DZMM.

Heavy rains will persist in Western Visayas while light rains may trigger landslides and floods in the already saturated eastern Visayas, he said.

Tropical storm signal number 1 remains hoisted over the following areas, which may experience winds of 30 to 60 kph in the next 36 hours:

Southern part of Mindoro provinves
Romblon
Sorsogon
Masbate including Burias and Ticao islands
Northern part of Palawan including Cuyo and Calamian islands

Aklan
Antique
Capiz
Ilolio

Urduja may leave the Philippine area of responsibility early Wednesday if it continues moving west southwest at 15 kph.

The northeastern monsoon or amihan, the dominant weather system during the Christmas season, tends to move typhoons to the south, making Southern Luzon and Visayas more prone to landslides, according to state-run channel Panahon TV.

Christmas typhoons "Nona" hit land 5 times in 2015 while "Nina" made 6 landfalls in 2016.

Visit the ABS-CBN Weather Center for the latest weather updates.

-- with a report from Agence France-Presse