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Storm Vinta leaves Philippines on Christmas eve

Manila | December 24,2017

Satellite image as of December 24, 10 am. Image courtesy of NOAA
Satellite image as of December 24, 10 am. Image courtesy of NOAA. (Rappler)

Vinta (Tembin), the Philippines' 22nd tropical cyclone for 2017, exits the Philippine Area of Responsibility a day before Christmas

MANILA, Philippines – Typhoon Vinta (Tembin) left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) late Sunday morning, December 24, Christmas Eve, after triggering massive floods and landslides that left more than 200 people dead. It was the country's 22nd tropical cyclone for 2017.

In a bulletin issued 10:30 am on Sunday, state weather bureau PAGASA said Vinta is already 290 kilometers south of Pag-asa Island, Palawan, or outside PAR. It is moving west at a slightly faster 26 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 25 km/h.

The typhoon maintained its strength as it left, with maximum winds of 120 km/h and gustiness of up to 145 km/h.

While Vinta is already outside, PAGASA warned that moderate to heavy rain will still persist in Palawan, especially in the southern part of the province.

Sea travel also remains risky in the western seaboard of Palawan. Thousands of passengers were earlier stranded in various ports in the Visayas and Mindanao.

Vinta made landfall in the country twice as a severe tropical storm – first in Cateel, Davao Oriental early Friday, December 22, then in Balabac, Palawan late Saturday, December 23.

Most of the fatalities were from Lanao del Norte, which has since been placed under a state of calamity. Lanao del Sur was also earlier placed under a state of calamity. Other areas that experienced heavy flooding include Cagayan de Oro and Davao City.

Vinta had struck right after Tropical Storm Urduja (Kai-tak), which battered Eastern Visayas. Urduja left more than 50 people dead and around P1 billion in agricultural damage. (Rappler.com)
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