Vinta pummels southern Palawan

PAGASA on Saturday placed the southern towns of Brooke’s Point, Rizal, Balabac and Bataraza under storm signal number 2 and the rest of the province under signal number 1 as tropical storm Vinta begins its approach to the Palawan mainland, bringing heavy rains and triggering floods.

Vinta has gained strength as it moved west at a pace of 20 kilometers per hour with 75 kilometers per hour winds and 90 kilometers per hour gustiness.

The center of the tropical storm was last seen 165 kilometer northwest of Zamboanga del Sur paving its way to Palawan area.

PAGASA said that southern Palaweños will experience strengthened winds and heavy rains that may last for hours and moderate rains and thunderstorms on northern towns including Puerto Princesa city.

Vinta is expected to make landfall in Brookes Point Saturday midnight.

Dan Esmerio, from the local municipal risk reduction office (MDRRMO) of the town, said that they have been monitoring the tropical storm since yesterday. He also said that the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) advised them to stop local fishers to operate today with PAGASA posting a gale warning all over Palawan.

“Naka-antabay naman kami. Bilin ng PCG wag na muna sila payagang mag-layag hanggang bukas,” Esmerio said.

In 24 hours, Vinta is estimated to be around 275 kilometer southwest of Puerto Princesa city and in 48 hours, it will move into 390 kilometer southwest of Pag-asa island finally exiting the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) Sunday afternoon.

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