'Urduja' may intensify into tropical storm

TROPICAL Depression "Urduja" has maintained its strength while moving north northwest of the country and may intensify into a tropical storm within 36 hours, said the state weather bureau.

As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, December 13, the center of Urduja was located at 405 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, packing maximum winds of 55 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 65 kph.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) forecast Urduja to move west at seven kph.

It said the tropical depression will bring moderate to heavy rains in areas within its 350-kilometer diameter.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, no tropical cyclone warning signal has been raised in the country.

But Pagasa said Urduja will also bring scattered to widespead rains over Visayas and Bicol within 24 hours.

The weather bureau advised fisherfolk and those with small seacrafts not to venture out over the eastern seaboard of Bicol, Eastern Visayas and Caraga due to moderate to rough seas associated with the approaching tropical depression.

Urduja is expected to be at 240 kilometers east of Guiuan, Eastern Samar, by Thursday morning, December 14. (SunStar Philippines)

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