Weaker 'Nina' traverses Southern Luzon


Posted at Dec 26 2016 07:59 AM | Updated as of Dec 26 2016 07:15 PM

MANILA - (UPDATED) Typhoon "Nina" (international name: Nock-Ten) was on course to hit Batangas province on Monday, as it weakened slightly after lashing four provinces overnight, the state weather bureau said.

The storm dumped heavy rains and cut power after it made landfall in Catanduanes province on Christmas Day then made its way to Camarines Sur, Quezon and Marinduque.

Tens of thousands were evacuated, with many spending Christmas Eve in classrooms and transport terminals that have been converted into evacuation centers.

At 8 a.m. Monday, Nina was packing top sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts OF up to 230 kph. 

Nina will make its fifth landfall in Batangas between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., PAGASA forecaster Obet Badrina told radio DZMM. 

The typhoon will also bring moderate to heavy rains to Metro Manila, and nearby provinces starting around noon.

Cyclone warning signals remain hoisted over the following areas: 

Land, sea and air travel has also been suspended in some areas, leaving stranded thousands of people heading home for Christmas. 

If Nina continues moving west northwest at 20 kph, it will leave the Philippine area of responsibility early Wednesday, PAGASA said. 

-- With reports from Reuters and Fred Cipres, DZMM