Dozens of areas under storm signal ahead of Ursula's Christmas Eve landfall

Jamaine Punzalan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 23 2019 11:10 AM | Updated as of Dec 23 2019 09:46 PM

MANILA (2ND UPDATE) — Tropical storm Ursula is expected to lash the central Philippines and nearby areas with heavy rains on Christmas Eve, the state weather bureau said Monday, as it raised wind-warning signals over dozens of areas. 

The country's 21st and potentially last storm this year was 670 kilometers east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte at 4 p.m., packing maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers per hour (kph) and 90 kph gusts, said PAGASA. 

Ursula could strengthen into a severe tropical storm with at least 89 kph top sustained winds before it makes landfall over Eastern Visayas on Christmas Eve, Tuesday, in the afternoon or evening, warned the weather agency. 

From Tuesday to Christmas Day, Ursula will bring moderate to heavy rains over Dinagat, Siargao and Bucas Grande islands, Eastern Visayas, Sorsogon, Masbate, Romblon, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras, and the northern portions of Cebu and Negros Occidental, said PAGASA. 

Light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains will also hit Quezon and the rest of Visayas, Bicol Region, and Surigao del Norte, it added. 

Residents in all these areas should be on the lookout for potential floods and landslides, said PAGASA. 

PAGASA raised storm warning signal 2 in Eastern Samar (Guiuan) where damaging winds are expected on Tuesday afternoon.

The agency also raised storm warning signal 1 over dozens of areas where strong winds could damage nipa huts, uproot banana trees and leave "significant damage" to crops. These include the following: 

Luzon

* Southern portion of Quezon
 - Buenavista
 - Calauag
 - Catanauan
 - General Luna
 - Guinayangan, Lopez
 - Macalelon
 - Mulanay
 - San Andres
 - San Francisco
 - San Narciso
 - Tagkawayan

* Camarines Sur
* Camarines Norte
* Catanduanes
* Albay
* Marinduque
* Romblon
* Sorsogon
* Masbate including Ticao Island and Burias Islands 

Visayas

* Eastern Samar
* Northern Samar, 
* Biliran
* Leyte
* Southern Leyte

* Northern Cebu 
- Carmen
- Asturias
- Tuburan
- Catmon
- Sogod
- Borbon
- Tabuelan
- Tabogon
- San Remigio
- Bogo
- Medellin
- Daanbantayan
- Bantayan Islands
- Camotes Islands

* Central Cebu 
- Aloguinsan
- Carcar
- Pinamungahan
- San Fernando
- Naga
- Toledo
- Minglanila
- Balamban
- Talisay
- Cebu City
- Cordova
- Lapu-Lapu
- Mandaue
- Consolacion
- Liloan
- Compostela
- Danao 

* northeastern Bohol 
- Inabanga
- Danao
- Dagohoy
- Pilar
- Guindulman
- Anda
- Candijay
- Alicia
- Buenavista
- Jetafe
- Talibon
- Trinidad
- Bien Unido
- San Miguel
- Ubay
- Mabini
- Pres. Carlos P. Garcia

* Aklan
* Antique
* Capiz
* Iloilo
* Guimaras

* northern Negros Occidental 
- Bacolod
- Bago
- Cadiz
- Calatrava
- Enrique B. Magalona
- Escalante
- La Carlota
- La Castellana
- Manapla
- Moises Padilla
- Binalbagan
- Hinigaran
- Isabela
- Murcia
- Pontevedra
- Pulupandan
- Sagay
- Salvador Benedicto
- San Carlos
- San Enrique
- Silay
- Talisay
- Toboso
- Valladolid
- Victorias

* northern Negros Oriental 
- Canlaon
- Guihulngan
- Jimalaud
- La Libertad
- Vallehermoso

Mindanao

- Dinagat Islands
- Surigao del Norte including Siargao Islands

Residents in Davao del Sur and Cotabato, which were both rattled by a powerful quake last Dec. 15, should avoid areas cracked by the tremor because the looming rains could trigger landslides there, said state seismology office Phivolcs chief Renato Solidum. 

Meanwhile, Metro Manila on Christmas Day, Wednesday, will also experience light to moderate rains, said PAGASA senior weather forecaster Rene Paciente. 

If Ursula continues moving at 30 kph, it could leave the Philippines on Saturday, said PAGASA. 

Christmas storm Usman, one of the deadliest tropical cyclones of 2018, left 156 dead and damaged some 32,000 houses in parts of Luzon and Visayas, the disaster agency reported last year. 

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