Tropical Depression Usman strengthens as it nears land

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TROPICAL CYCLONE warning signal #1 could be raised over provinces in the Eastern Visayas and the northern part of Caraga by Wednesday evening, Dec. 26, or Thursday morning as tropical depression Usman strengthens while nearing landfall. Weather bureau PAGASA, in its 11 a.m. update on Wed., said maritime travel in these areas is expected to be disrupted. It also warned fisherfolk against venturing in the eastern seaboards of Eastern Samar, Dinagat Islands, and Surigao provinces due to rough seas associated with Usman. As of 10:00 a.m. Wed., the typhoon’s center was located about 775 kilometers (km) east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur and moving west-northwest at 15 km per hour (kph) with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 65 kph. Usman is forecasted to pass through the Philippines until the weekend and exit the country’s area by Monday, Dec. 31.