'Ursula' strengthens into tropical storm, nears PH


Posted at Dec 22 2019 06:24 PM

MANILA — The tropical storm monitored east of Mindanao has moved closer to the country and is expected to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) either Sunday evening or Monday morning, the state weather bureau said.

Tropical storm Phanfone, which will be given the local name Ursula when it enters the PAR, was last spotted 1,265 kilometers east of Mindanao, weather bureau PAGASA said.

It will be the 21st storm to hit the Philippines this year.

The storm is packing winds of up to 65 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 80 kph. It is moving west-northwest at 25 kph.

The storm is forecast to make landfall between Eastern Visayas and Caraga area Tuesday evening Dec. 24, after which it is expected to traverse the Visayas area.

PAGASA said that on Tuesday, moderate to occasionally heavy rains may prevail over the Visayas and northeastern Mindanao.

Cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms are expected over Mindanao because of the approaching storm. The weather bureau warned of possible flash floods and landslides during severe thunderstorms.

Metro Manila and the rest of the country meanwhile will have partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms.

Visit the ABS-CBN Weather Center for more updates.