MANILA (UPDATE)– Malacañang on Saturday extended its sympathies to families affected by the onslaught of Typhoon Ambo.
“Sa ngayon po, nakikiramay po tayo at nakikiisa po sa mga dinaanan ng Bagyong Ambo,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said during the Laging Handa press briefing.
“Laging handa naman tayo sa mga sakuna. Laging handa tayo lalong-lalo na sa mga bagyo, Napakadaming bagyo talaga ang bumibisita sa atin taon-taon.”
Some 20 major storms in a year hit the Philippines, which is first the major landmass facing the Pacific typhoon belt.
“Bago pa po dumating ang bagyo, naka-prepositioned na po ang ating relief goods. Nakahanda na po ang evacuation centers natin,” he added.
Malacañang said physical distancing was maintained between families, a measure being carried out at evacuation centers.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development said food packs have been distributed in affected areas in Bicol and Eastern Visayas.
"Nakikipagtulungan tayo sa Office of Civil Defense para sa provision ng naval assets para makapaghatid na karagdagang food packs sa mga naapektuhan ng Bagyong Ambo," DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said.
As of Saturday afternoon, Ambo (International name: Vongfong) has claimed 4 lives and left dozens injured. The tropical storm also displaced thousands of families and cut a swathe of destruction.
Ambo was last seen 110 kilometers north-northwest of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte, packing maximum sustained winds of up to 65 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and 80 kph gusts.
It is moving toward the West Philippine Sea and is expected to leave the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Monday afternoon, state weather bureau PAGASA said.