Ursula eyewall threatens Mindoro provinces; storm-force winds to hit Batangas

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 25 2019 03:56 PM | Updated as of Dec 26 2019 08:12 AM

Residents check debris from damaged houses after Typhoon Ursula hit Barangay Tucdao, Kawayan, Biliran on Wednesday morning. Weather bureau PAGASA warns residents of very destructive winds and intense rainfall over Aklan, northern portion of Antique, and Romblon as Ursula moves west. Photo courtesy of Randy Borja

Destructive winds and intense rainfall are set to affect Caluya Islands in Antique as Typhoon Ursula made its sixth landfall Wednesday, weather bureau PAGASA said.

As of 1 p.m. Wednesday, Ursula's eye was located 70 km southeast of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, packing 140 kph maximum sustained winds near the center and gusts of up to 195 kph.

Weather bureau PAGASA said "destructive typhoon-force winds (will) begin affecting Mindoro Provinces this afternoon; Calamian islands between this afternoon and evening."

"In case of the passage of the eye in some of the aforementioned areas, calm conditions will be experienced. However, as soon as the eye moves out of the area, violent conditions associated with the eyewall will resume," it said.

Damaging gale to storm-force winds are also set to hit Batangas Wednesday afternoon or early evening.

PAGASA said "moderate to strong winds [will] begin affecting Metro Manila and Bataan between this afternoon or early evening."

Weather forecasters said occasional to frequent heavy with intermittent intense rains will affect Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Romblon, Calamian Islands, Cuyo Islands, and Mindoro Provinces.

Light to moderate rains with isolated heavy rainshowers during thunderstorms will also hit Bicol Region, rest of Western Visayas, CALABARZON, Metro Manila, Marinduque, Aurora and the northern portion of mainland Palawan.

Authorities also warned of possible storm surges of 1.0 to 2.0 meters in southern Masbate, Aklan, Capiz, northern Antique, northeastern Iloilo, Romblon, Marinduque, and Mindoro Provinces, Calamian Islands and Cuyo Islands in the next 24 hours.

More than 25,000 people trying to get home for the traditional Christmas Eve midnight dinner with their families remained stranded at ports on Christmas Day with ferry services still shut down, the Philippine Coast Guard said.

Scores of flights to the region also remained cancelled, though the populous capital Manila, on the northern edge has so far been spared.

The Philippines is the first major landmass facing the Pacific cyclone belt.

As such, the archipelago gets hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year, killing scores of people and wiping out harvests, homes and other infrastructure and keeping millions perennially poor.

A July 2019 study by the Manila-based Asian Development Bank said the most frequent storms lop one percent off the Philippine economic output, with the stronger ones cutting output by nearly three percent. With Agence France-Presse