Ambo weakens further, as storm moves to Bulacan, Nueva Ecija

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 15 2020 11:58 PM | Updated as of May 16 2020 03:23 AM

Ambo weakens further, as storm moves to Bulacan, Nueva Ecija 1
A resident rushes to tie down fishing boats as Typhoon Ambo hits the town of Atimonan, Quezon province on May 15, 2020. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA (UPDATE) -- Severe tropical storm Ambo weakened further as it moved over northern Bulacan and southern Nueva Ecija late Friday night, state weather bureau PAGASA said.

The tropical cyclone, with international name Vongfong, is now packing 95 kilometers per hour (kph) winds and 160 kph gusts.

Moving northwest at a speed of 20 kph, Ambo was last spotted in the vicinity of San Miguel, Bulacan at 10 p.m.

The severe tropical storm is forecast to continue traversing Luzon before emerging over the coastal waters of Ilocos Region Saturday morning, the PAGASA said in its latest bulletin.

On Saturday, Bulacan, Pampanga, Tarlac, Nueva Ecija, Aurora, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, Benguet, Ifugao and Isabela will experience moderate to heavy with at times intense rains.

"Makikita natin sa ating satellite imagery, bagama't sabog po itong kaulapan ni Ambo, nagho-hover ito sa malaking bahagi ng Luzon at magdudulot ng pag-ulan sa susunod pang oras," weather specialist Ariel Rojas said in a press briefing.

Tropical cyclone wind signals remained hoisted over the following areas:

Signal No. 2 , where wind speeds of 61 to 120 kph may be experienced within 24 hours:

  • Babuyan Islands
  • Northwestern portion of mainland Cagayan (Santa Praxedes, Claveria, Sanchez Mira, Pamplona, Abulug)
  • Southern and western portion of Isabela (Quezon, Mallig, Roxas, Quirino, San Manuel, Burgos, Gamu, Reina Mercedes, Aurora, Luna Cabatuan, Naguilian, Benito Soliven, Cauayan, San Guillermo, Dinapigue, San Mateo, Alicia, Angadanan, Ramon, San Isidro, Echague, Jones, San Agustin, Santiago, Cordon)
  • Ilocos Norte
  • Ilocos Sur
  • Apayao
  • Abra
  • Kalinga
  • Mountain Province
  • Ifugao
  • Benguet
  • La Union
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • Nueva Ecija
  • Quirino
  • Aurora
  • Pangasinan
  • Tarlac
  • Pampanga
  • Bulacan
  • Metro Manila
  • Rizal
  • Northern portion of Quezon (General Nakar, Infanta) including Polillo Islands.

Signal No. 1 , where wind speeds of 30 to 60 kph may be experienced within 36 hours:

  • Batanes
  • Rest of mainland Cagayan
  • Rest of Isabela
  • Zambales
  • Bataan
  • Batangas
  • Cavite
  • Laguna
  • Central portion of Quezon (Real, Mauban, Sampaloc, Lucban, San Antonio, Tiaong, Dolores, Candelaria, Sariaya, Lucena City, Tayabas, Pagbilao, Atimonan, Padre Burgos, Agdangan, Unisan, Plaridel, Quezon, Alabat, Perez)

Ambo, the first storm to hit the country this year, first hit land in San Policarpo in Eastern Samar. It later made landfall over Dalupiri Island and Capul Island in Northern Samar; Ticao Island and Burias Island in Masbate; and San Andres, Quezon.

Its last landfall was recorded in Real, Quezon, at 5 p.m. Friday.

The storm is forecast to exit the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Sunday or Monday as a low-pressure area (LPA).

Ambo weakens further, as storm moves to Bulacan, Nueva Ecija 2

OVERLAPPING DISASTERS

Tens of millions more people live along Ambo's path, which is forecast to take it near the densely populated capital Manila later Friday.

Disaster officials in Manila, which is the center of the nation's virus outbreak, said they have not ordered pre-emptive evacuations for the capital but have issued storm warnings.

Authorities have not reported any deaths so far, but disaster crews had not yet completed their assessment of hard-hit areas cut off by the storm.

Typhoons are a dangerous and disruptive part of life in the Philippines, which gets hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year.

The storms put millions of people in disaster-prone areas in a state of constant poverty and rebuilding.

A July 2019 study by the Manila-based Asian Development Bank said the most frequent storms lop one percent off the Philippine economy, with the stronger ones cutting economic output by nearly 3 percent.

Many of the areas in Ambo's path have already gone through much of their emergency disaster money while responding to the pandemic, and have asked the national government for help.

The country's deadliest cyclone on record was Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing in 2013.

Visit the ABS-CBN Weather Center for the latest weather updates.

- With a report from Agence France-Presse