VINTA has intensified into a severe tropical storm and is about to make landfall in Surigao del Sur.
As of 10 p.m. Thursday, December 21, Vinta has maximum sustained winds of 90 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 125 kph, said the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).
The eye of the storm was located at 85 kilometers east southeast of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, and Vinta was forecast to move west at 20 kph.
Pagasa placed several areas in the country under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) Number 2. These include Siquijor and southern Negros Oriental, Surigao del Norte including Siargao Islands, Surigao del Sur, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, northern Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Davao del Norte, Camiguin, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, eastern Zamboanga del Norte, and eastern Zamboanga del Sur.
Under TCWS Number 1 were Southern Leyte, southern portion of Leyte, Bohol, southern Cebu, rest of Negros Oriental, and southern Negros Occidental. Dinagat Island, rest of Davao Oriental, Davao del Sur, North Cotabato, Maguindanao, rest of Zamboanga del Norte, rest of Zamboanga del Sur, and Zamboanga Sibugay.
Pagasa said that Vinta will bring scattered to widespread moderate to heavy rains over Visayas, Caraga, Davao Region, Northern Mindanao, Zamboanga Peninsula, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao and North Cotabato within 24 hours.
"Residents of these areas must make appropriate actions against flooding and landslides, coordinate with their respective local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and continue monitoring for updates," it said.
It also warned that sea travel remains risky over the seaboards of areas unders storm signals.
It added that Vinta was forecast to be at 65 kilometers west northwest of Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte, by Friday evening, December 22. (SunStar Philippines)