'Sendong' to leave PH tonight

Posted at 12/18/2011 11:44 AM | Updated as of 12/18/2011 7:39 PM

MANILA, Philippines - (2nd UPDATE) Tropical storm "Sendong" (international name: Washi) is expected to leave the country on Sunday night, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

PAGASA weather forecaster Aldzar Aurelio told radio dzMM Sendong will no longer be within the Philippine Area of Responsibility at 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Based on its latest report, PAGASA said no province is under any public storm signal anymore.

As of 4:00 p.m. today, the center of Sendong is estimated 410 kilometers west northwest of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. It has maximum sustained winds of 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 80 kph.

It is expected to be at 650 kilometers west of Puerto Princesa by early Monday.

However, rains are still expected in Luzon, western and southern Visayas, and some areas in Mindanao.

"Epekto na lang ito ng tinatawag nating wind convergence," Aurelio explained.

Meanwhile, he maintained they have warned authorities about the impact of tropical storm Sendong.

Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano claimed they were not warned about the storm's strength. The National Risk Reduction and Management Council has reported that 327 people have died, mostly in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan.

"Maaga kaming nagbigay ng warning sa ating mga kababayan. Sinabi na namin noon na Visayas at Mindanao ay apektado. Landslide, flash flood at thunderstorms [ang idudulot ng Sendong]. Wala na pong pagkukulang sa amin," Aurelio said.