'Urduja' weakens, storm outside Philippines now an LPA


Posted at Dec 18 2017 12:10 PM

MANILA - Tropical depression "Urduja" (international name: Kai-tak) has weakened after inundating large swathes of the Visayas, while another storm outside the Philippines was downgraded into a low pressure area, state weather bureau PAGASA said Monday.

Over the weekend, Urduja triggered a landslide that killed at least 26 people in Biliran and forced the evacuation of some 44,000 families, including those in areas devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) 4 years ago.

At 10 a.m., Urduja was 45 kph winds, down from 55 kph; and 60 kph gusts, down from 75 kph, said PAGASA meteorologist Obet Badrina.

"Medyo humina po talaga ang Bagyong Urduja which is inaasahan natin dahil dumaan ito sa mga kalupaan ng Palawan at Kabisayaan," he told reporters.

(Urduja really weakened, which is expected because it passed through Palawan and Visayas.)

Urduja hit land 6 times between late Friday and early Monday. It will no longer make landfall before leaving the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Tuesday, Badrina added.

Meanwhile, the storm-turned-LPA was last spotted 1,500 kilometers east of Mindanao. It may still enter PAR this week and will be monitored by state meteorologists, he said.

Moderate to occasionally heavy rains are expected over Calabarzon, Aurora, Bicol, Mindoro, Marinduque and Romblon due to the tail end of a cold front. Residents there were warned of possible floods and landslides, PAGASA said.

Storm signal 1 remains hoisted over Palawan, which may experience 30 to 60 kph winds.

President Rodrigo Duterte has said he is set to visit Biliran province, one of the worst hit areas by Urduja.