THE low pressure area (LPA) east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, has developed into a tropical depression and was named "Vinta," the state weather bureau announced Wednesday afternoon, December 20.

As of 4 p.m. Wednesday, the eye of the tropical depression was located at 735 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur, packing maximum winds of 45 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 60 kph.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said Vinta was forecast to move west at 20 kph.

Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal Number 1 was raised over Surigao del Sur and northern Davao Oriental Wednesday afternoon. But Pagasa said that the provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Compostela Valley, and Davao del Norte might also be included.

It said Vinta is expected to make landfall between Caraga and Davao Region on Thursday (December 21) evening to Friday (December 22) morning.

Pagasa said that scattered to widespread rains is expected over Eastern Visayas and Eastern Mindanao within the next 24 hours. "Residents of these areas must undertake appropriate measures against flooding and landslides and coordinate with their respective local government and disaster risk reduction and management offices."

The weather bureau also warned fisherfolk and those with small seacrafts against venturing out over the seaboards of eastern Mindanao due to the moderate to rough seas associated with Vinta. (SunStar Philippines)