Signal No.1 raised over Negros, ‘Vicky’ may hit southern portion

Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No 1. was raised by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) over Negros Occidental and Oriental today, December 18, as Tropical Depression “Vicky” approached.

“Vicky” is forecast to move generally west-northwestward while over the landmass of Mindanao. By early morning tomorrow, “Vicky” is likely to emerge over the Bohol Sea, pass close to Siquijor or Misamis Occidental, and pass close or make another landfall over the southern portion of Negros Island, PAGASA said.

The Philippine Coast Guard suspended interisland sea travel causing some passengers to be stranded in several ports in Bacolod and Negros.

Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson placed Negros Occidental under blue alert and directed disaster risk reduction management operation centers to heighten preparedness, initiate pro-active measures and take appropriate precautionary actions for possible flooding, flashfloods or landslides.

The governor also advised all district hospitals to raise Code White to ensure preparedness.

PAGASA at 5 p.m. today, December 18, said Tropical Depression “Vicky” is now traversing Monkayo, Davao de Oro while maintaining its strength.

Moderate to heavy with at times intense rains are expected over the VIsayas.

Flooding, including flash floods, and rain-induced landslides may occur during heavy or prolonged periods of rainfall, especially in areas identified to be highly or very highly susceptible to these hazards and in localities that received significant antecedent rainfall over the past couple of days or weeks, PAGASA added.

“Vicky” is forecast to remain a tropical depression while crossing the Philippine archipelago.

It was moving at maximum sustained winds of 45 km/h near the center and gustiness of up to 75 km/h, PAGASA said.

“We cannot underestimate it even if it is just a tropical depression, we need to be prepared,” Zeaphard Gerhart Caelian, chief of the Negros Occidental Provincial Disaster Management Program Division, said.

“We are hoping and praying “Vicky” changes course,” Caelian added.*

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