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Tropical Storm Ursula intensifies near Philippines

Christian Fernsby |
Tropical Storm Ursula (Phanfone) slightly intensified as it continued moving toward Eastern Visayas on Monday.

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In a briefing past 5 pm on Monday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ursula is now 670 kilometers east of Surigao City, Surigao del Norte.

The tropical storm is still moving west northwest at a relatively fast 30 kilometers per hour (km/h).

Ursula now has maximum winds of 75 km/h from the previous 65 km/h and gustiness of up to 90 km/h from the previous 80 km/h. It is likely to strengthen further into a severe tropical storm before making landfall.

Ursula is forecast to make landfall in Eastern Visayas on Tuesday afternoon or evening, December 24, Christmas Eve. PAGASA Weather Specialist Aldczar Aurelio said it is too early to determine the exact province where the tropical storm would make landfall.

The municipality of Guiuan in the province of Eastern Samar is now under Signal No. 2, the first area to be placed under that category.

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