MANILA - A brewing storm off Mindanao is gathering strength just days before Christmas, as tropical depression Urduja (international name: Kai-tak) moved away from the country, state weather bureau PAGASA said Tuesday.
Urduja inundated large swaths of Visayas over the weekend, leaving at least 31 dead and sending tens of thousands to evacuation centers.
At 4 a.m., the storm was spotted 240 kilometers west northwest of Puerto Princesa, Palawan. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 45 kilometers per hour and 60 kph gusts, PAGASA meteorologist Samuel Duran told DZMM.
Urduja is set to leave the Philippine area of responsibility early Tuesday if it continues moving at 18 kph, he said.
Meanwhile, a low pressure area (LPA), which weakened on Monday, may re-intensify into a storm in the next 48 hours, Duran warned.
Last tracked 1,395 kilometers east of Mindanao, the LPA may enter the Philippine area on Wednesday or Thursday and will be named Vinta, he said.
The province of Palawan, Cagayan, Isabela and Aurora will experience moderate to occasionally heavy rains that may trigger landslides and floods, PAGASA said.
Scattered rains were also seen in the regions of Metro Manila, Ilocos, Cordillera, and the rest of Cagayan Valley and Central Luzon.
The northeast monsoon or amihan, the dominant weather system during Christmas season, has also intensified, which will bring colder in the next days, PAGASA meteorologist Robb Gile told DZMM.
The temperature in Baguio has averaged 12 degrees Celcius in the past few days while Metro Manila temperature fell to 22.2 degrees Celcius on Monday, he said.
The amihan also tends to move typhoons to the south, making Southern Luzon and Visayas more prone to landslides, according to state-run channel Panahon TV.
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