MANILA - Tropical depression Usman is nearing landfall over Eastern Samar, state weather bureau PAGASA said early Saturday.
The center of the tropical cyclone, as of 4 a.m., was last located 65 kilometers east-southeast of Guiuan, Eastern Samar.
Usman maintained its strength, packing maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 65 kph. It is moving west at a speed of 15 kph.
The following areas are still under signal no. 1 based on PAGASA's 5 a.m. advisory:
- Northern Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo Group of Islands
- southern Quezon
- Camarines Norte
- Camarines Sur
- Masbate including Ticao and Burias Islands
- southern Occidental Mindoro
- southern Oriental Mindoro
- Eastern Samar
- Northern Samar
- Southern Leyte
- northern Cebu including Camotes Islands
- northern Negros Occidental
PAGASA said moderate to heavy rains will prevail over Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol Region, and Aurora while light to moderate with at times heavy rains is expected over Metro Manila and the Visayas.
Residents in the said areas, especially those living near river channels and in low-lying and mountainous areas, were warned of possible flooding and landslides.
More than 21,000 people remain stranded in various ports across the country after sea trips were canceled, records from the Philippine Coast Guard showed.
Some 2,050 rolling cargoes, 132 vessels, and 45 motorized bancas were not allowed to sail as Usman continues to threaten many parts of the country.
Usman, the 21st and potentially the last tropical cyclone to enter the country this year, is expected to leave Philippine landmass between Sunday evening, Dec. 30, and Monday morning, Dec. 31.