All cyclone warning signals lifted as 'Ambo' weakens into LPA

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2020 05:37 PM

MANILA - Tropical depression Ambo has weakened into a low pressure area as it continues to move away from the Philippine area of responsibility, state weather bureau PAGASA said Sunday.

In its 5 p.m. bulletin, PAGASA said the LPA was last located 125 kilometers northwest of Basco, Batanes.

Tropical cyclone wind signal no. 1 over Batanes has also been lifted.

The LPA is expected to bring light to moderate with at times heavy rains over Batanes.

The weather disturbance is also expected to cause moderate to rough seas over Batanes and Babuyan Islands.

Ambo left at least 4 dead in Eastern Samar, where it first hit land as a typhoon, 1 in Isabela and 1 in Quezon province, where it made its seventh and last landfall, according to local authorities.

The storm struck with tens of millions of Filipinos cooped up in their homes because of the coronavirus, but at least 140,000 had to flee because of the powerful storm, disaster officials said. Ambo toppled trees, knocked out power lines and destroyed houses in its wake.

"We have to wear masks and apply distancing at all times," local police official Carlito Abriz had said. "It's difficult to enforce because they (the evacuees) are stressed. But we are doing our best."

Most schools, typically used as typhoon shelters, were converted into quarantine facilities in preparation for the pandemic.

Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone said nearly half of isolation facilities in the province were destroyed by the storm.

"Talagang double whammy kami dito. Pinaghandaan namin to, in fact hanggang ngayon zero COVID pa rin kami. Yung mga COVID facilities namin, halos kalahati ay nasira," he said Sunday.

(We got a double whammy. We prepared for COVID-19, in fact up to now we have zero cases. Nearly half of our COVID facilities were destroyed.)

Visit the ABS-CBN Weather Center for more updates.

--With a report from Agence France-Presse