Vinta intensifies into a typhoon


Posted at Dec 24 2017 07:54 AM | Updated as of Dec 25 2017 12:53 AM

Vinta intensifies into a typhoon 1
This satellite image from PAGASA shows Typhoon Vinta at the western boundary of the Philippine area of responsibility.

MANILA - Tropical cyclone Vinta has intensified into a typhoon as it moved away from the country after leaving more than 100 people dead, state weather bureau PAGASA said Sunday.

Vinta had triggered deadly mudslides and flash floods in Mindanao when it hit the island as a tropical storm Friday, sending tens of thousands to evacuation centers, and cutting power and communication lines.

At 4 a.m., the storm was tracked 365 kms south southeast of Pagasa Island, Palawan. It was packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kph and 145 kph gusts, PAGASA meteorologist Chris Perez told DZMM radio.

Vinta is set to leave the Philippine area of responsibility early Sunday, he said.

Storm warning signal No. 1 remains hoisted over Palawan, which may experience 30 to 60 kph winds in 36 hours, PAGASA said.

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The typhoon has left dead 182 people and displaced more than 70,000 people, said the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Some 153 people, meanwhile, were still missing, police added.

Vinta struck less than a week after Tropical Storm Urduja left 54 dead and 24 missing in the central islands, straining the disaster-prone nation's resources.

"It is unfortunate that another tropical cyclone... made its presence felt so near Christmas," Harry Roque, President Rodrigo Duterte's spokesperson, said in a statement.

Roque vowed continued government aid to the affected communities, but Romina Marasigan, spokesperson for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, described the situation as "challenging".

The deadliest storm to hit the country was Yolanda, a super typhoon, which killed thousands and destroyed entire towns in heavily populated areas of central Philippines in November 2013. -- With a report from Agence France-Presse

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