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'Amang' intensifies, nearer Eastern Samar as Pope Francis visits Tacloban

Track of tropical cyclone 'Amang' as of 8 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17, 2015.Project NOAH

MANILA, Philippines - Tropical Storm "Amang" became stronger as it approaches Eastern Samar province, where Pope Francis is expected to visit Saturday morning.

State weather bureau PAGASA said the center of the storm was estimated at 220 kilometers east southeast of Borongan City, eastern Samar.

"Tropical Storm 'AMANG' may hit Borongan City, Eastern Samar this afternoon," PAGASA said in its 5 a.m. weather bulletin.

The storm was stronger packing maximum sustained winds of 100 kilometer near the center and gustiness of up to 130 kph.

Public storm warning signal number 2 was hoisted over the following areas:

Ticao Island
Northern Samar
Eastern Samar

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"These areas will have stormy weather with heavy to intense rains. Residents along coastal areas are alerted against possible storm surges of less than 2 meter," the weather bureau said.

Storm warning signal number 1 is raised over these areas:

Camarines Sur
Camarines Norte
Burias Island
Polillo Island
Oriental Mindoro
Southern Leyte
Northern Cebu
Cebu City
Camotes Island
Dinagat Island

PAGASA said areas under storm alert may be hit by flashfloods and landslide.

Pope Francis will leave for Tacloban City on Saturday morning and return to Metro Manila in the evening.

Storm alert may be hoisted over Metro Manila before the pope returns to the capital.

"In the next six hours, there is a possibility of raising Public Storm Signal # 1 over Cavite, Rizal, Metro Manila and Bulacan," PAGASA said.

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