PR tsUrsula2 122319

Tropical Storm “URSULA” continues to intensify as it moves along the Philippine Sea in a North-Northwest direction. Landfall is expected over Eastern Visayas by Tuesday afternoon or evening, bringing heavy rains until Wednesday in Visayas and other areas in Southern Luzon and CARAGA.

According to PAGASA, as of 02:00PM today, “URSULA” is located 845 km East of Surigao del Norte with maximum sustained winds of 65 km/h. PAGASA warned of the possibility to intensify into a Severe Tropical Storm with maximum sustained winds of up to 100 km/h. Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal #1 has been raised in Bicol Region and Visayas, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, and Caraga Regions. Due to very rough sea conditions, small sea crafts are advised against traveling over the northern and eastern seaboards in identified areas. Moreover, those with travel plans in the specified regions should reconsider their travel arrangements.

Meanwhile, the tropical storm is expected to bring heavy rains over Caraga, Eastern Visayas, MIMAROPA, Bicol Region, Western Visayas, and northern portions of Cebu on Tuesday to Wednesday morning. In the same period, intermittent heavy rains are expected over Quezon and the rest of Visayas, Bicol Region, and Surigao del Norte. Further on Wednesday to Thursday, heavy rains are projected over Antique, Mindoro Provinces, Romblon, Northern Palawan including Calamian and Cuyo Islands while intermittent heavy rains over the rest of Western Visayas, Caraga, Davao Region, Marinduque, and portions of Isabela, Aurora, and Quezon.

At least 2,939 barangays in mountainous areas are highly susceptible to landslide while 3,652 barangays are highly susceptible to flooding which may may occur in low-lying areas in Regions CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, V, VI, VIII, Caraga, and BARMM. The public is advised to monitor the weather disturbance for possible flooding and rain-induced landslides in identified affected areas.

Residents in the identified areas should monitor tension cracks, fractured rocks and sediments, sliding slope and active slides, and soil overburden which are common signs of impending landslides. Likewise, residents in low-lying areas or near riverbanks who experience prolonged rainfall should exercise caution and monitor the level of river water considering that heavy rainfall may cause riverbank erosion, shift of river flow direction, debris flows and artificial damming. The public is advised against travelling to areas where TCWS have been raised.

DSWD has prepositioned 259,975 family food packs across 17 field offices in or nearby areas to be affected. Non-food relief items amounting to Php 612 million are also stored in field offices. Also as part of contingency plans, the NDRRMC has ensured that additional stocks are on standby and ready for dispatch when needed. DILG and DSWD are likewise on alert for possible evacuations especially in affected areas wherein potential evacuation centers have also been prepared.

In anticipation of Tropical Storm “URSULA”, the NDRRMC raised its alert status to BLUE to monitor the response actions for the storm’s effects.