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Philippines warned of rainy Christmas from tropical storm

A severe tropical storm has gained strength as it moves closer to the Philippines and may intensify further into a typhoon, bringing moderate to heavy rains and blustery weather on Christmas Day

By: AP | Manila | Published: December 23, 2016 6:51:18 pm
Philippines, Philippines storm, tropical storm in Philippines, Philippines  tropical storm, storm in Philippines, Philippines Christmas, christmas in Philippines, latest news, latest world news Weather specialist Benison Estareja shows the track of Tropical Storm Nock-Ten during a press conference in Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines on Friday, Dec. 23, 2016 (Source: AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

A tropical storm nearing the Philippines on Friday may strengthen into a typhoon, bringing moderate to heavy rains and blustery weather on Christmas Day, the biggest holiday in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

Tropical Storm Nock-Ten was 790 kilometers (490 miles) east of Guiuan town in the eastern part of the country as of Friday morning, packing winds of up to 105 kilometers per hour (65 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 130 kph (80 mph), forecasters said.

Landrico Dalida Jr., a deputy administrator of the government weather bureau, said Nock-Ten may intensify into a typhoon, with winds of at least 120 kph (75 mph), before it makes landfall late Sunday in the eastern part of the country.

“Our Christmas will be rainy, with strong winds,” Dalida said. “So while we celebrate, let us also prepare.”

Officials warned of possible landslides and flooding along the storm’s path, and storm surges in coastal areas that makes sea travel risky. Stormy weather can be expected starting Saturday evening, they said.

Nock-Ten is forecast to move northwest over northern provinces. It is expected to be over the country’s capital on Monday and to exit the Philippines by Wednesday.

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