PR 05132020

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council during its Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment today, May 13, reiterated its call on Local Government Units and public to prepare and remain vigilant as Ambo has intensified from tropical depression into a storm.

As of 10:00 AM today, the center of Ambo was spotted at 360 km East of Borongan City, Eastern Samar with maximum sustained winds of up to 85 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 105 km/h.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on its rainfall outlook said scattered light to moderate with at times heavy rainshowers during thunderstorms will be experienced today over Eastern Visayas, and moderate to heavy rains tomorrow on Eastern Visayas, Catanduanes, Albay, Sorsogon, and Masbate.

Flooding and landslides may occur in highly to very highly susceptible areas during heavy or prolonged rainfall while rough seas will be experienced over the eastern seaboard of Bicol Region and the northern and eastern seaboards of Eastern Visayas. Fishermen and small sea vessels are advised not to venture out as sea travel is risky over these areas.

TS Ambo is seen to further intensify as it approaches the Eastern Visayas and Bicol Region areas, the state weather bureau said.

Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 1 may be raised over Sorsogon in the next bulletin of Pagasa at 5 p.m today.

Pagasa said areas under TCWS #1 will experience strong to “near-gale force” winds tomorrow afternoon. TCWS #2 may be raised as well over Northern and Eastern Samar tomorrow morning and over Northern Samar, Northern portion of Eastern Samar, Bicol Region, Laguna, Quezon, and Metro Manila in the next two days.

Impacts of TS Ambo on areas under TCWS #2 may include partial damage of unshielded, old dilapidated school houses, tents, makeshift shanties, and other structures with light materials may be unroofed. Ambo may damage poorly constructed billboards and signs, may partially or totally unroof nipa and cogon houses, may peel or blow off some old metal roofs, and may cause some wooden, and electric posts to be tilted or downed.

Rice and corn may also be “adversely” affected, according to Pagasa. The Department of Agriculture (DA) yesterday advised farmers to “harvest mature crops, mobilize post-harvest facilities; secure seed reserves, planting materials and other farm inputs to higher ground.”

Regional Disaster Risk Reduction Management Councils of affected areas have been holding PDRA meetings to prepare and have continuous coordination with Provincial DRRMCs for the implementation of preparedness measures.

When the need to evacuate arises, PDRRMCs and Local DRRMCs shall use non-COVID-19 facilities and strictly implement social distancing policy, hygiene measures, and other COVID-19 preventive measures in evacuation centers. Local Government Units are tasked to inspect sanitary and hygiene conditions of evacuation centers.

Meanwhile, resources have been pre-positioned including food packs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and medicines from the Department of Health.

Department of Public Works and Highways reported that all its equipment and personnel are on standby in each district engineering offices in the affected regions.

Armed Forces of the Philippines, and Philippine Coast Guard are on full alert status whose assets are on standby. The Philippine National Police is also on its full alert status.

The Office of Civil Defense-NDRRMC continues to coordinate with RDRRMCs for preparedness measures for TS Ambo. Residents in the affected areas are advised to be vigilant, take precautionary measures, and monitor updates of Pagasa and their local disaster risk reduction and management offices.