TROPICAL Storm "Vinta" (international name: Tembin), which is now over Zamboanga del Sur province, has weakened into a tropical depression, the weather state bureau said on Friday afternoon.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) said that as of 4 p.m., Friday, December 22, the center of the tropical depression was in the vicinity of Sominot town, Zamboanga del Sur.

Pagasa said Vinta was packing maximum winds of 60 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gusts of up to 90 kph.

Pagasa hoisted Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS) Number 1 over southern Negros Occidental, southern part of Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte, Lanao del Sur, Misamis Occidental, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, western part of North Cotabato, and northern part of Maguindanao.

Sea travel remains risky over the seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1, the state weather bureau said.

The public is still advised to take precautionary measures against possible flooding and landslides, coordinate with their respective local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and continue monitoring for updates. (CID/SunStar Philippines)