By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
Typhoon “Ursula” (international name: “Phanfone”) has made landfall in Salcedo, Eastern Samar, at around 4:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
“Ursula” had maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 150 kph upon its landfall, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, Signal No. 3 was hoisted over Masbate including Ticao Island, Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar, Biliran, Leyte, and extreme northern Cebu including Camotes Island.
Signal No. 2 was raised in southern Quezon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island, Romblon, Albay, Sorsogon, Burias Island, Calamian and Cuyo Islands, central portion of northern Cebu, northeastern Iloilo, northern Antique, Capiz, Aklan, Southern Leyte, northern Negros Occidental, and Dinagat Islands.
Meanwhile, areas under Signal No. 1 were Bulacan, Bataan, Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, rest of Quezon, Laguna, Batangas, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Catanduanes, northern Palawan, rest of Cebu, Bohol, Siquijor, rest of Antique and Iloilo, Guimaras, Negros Oriental, rest of Negros Occidental, and Surigao del Norte including Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands.
Occasional to frequent heavy rains were expected over Dinagat Islands, Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands, Eastern Visayas, Sorsogon, Masbate, northern and central Cebu, northern Negros Oriental and Occidental, Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo, Guimaras and Romblon, while light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains were likely over Albay, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Catanduanes, Quezon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, and the rest of Visayas and Surigao del Norte.
Likewise, moderate to strong winds were affecting Bicol Region and portions of Central Visayas.
By Wednesday, when “Ursula” crosses the inland seas of Visayas, occasional to frequent heavy rains are likely over Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Romblon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Batangas, and Calamian Islands, while light to moderate with intermittent heavy rains will prevail over Cuyo Islands, Negros Oriental and Occidental, Iloilo, Guimaras, Aurora, Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, and Quezon.
Moderate to strong winds will also affect Cavite, Laguna, Rizal, Quezon, Batangas, portions of Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan, Western Visayas, Metro Manila, Bulacan, and Bataan by Wednesday.
PAGASA also warned of possible storm surges of up to two meters that may affect several coastal areas of Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, and Leyte.
Maritime activities in areas under wind signals have been suspended.
PAGASA advised that sea travel is risky over the eastern seaboards of the country, inland waters of Southern Luzon and Visayas, and western seaboards of Southern Luzon.
“Ursula” will likely be outside the Philippine area of responsibility by Friday or Saturday.