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LPA off Mindanao develops into Tropical Depression Ambo

Acor Arceo

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LPA off Mindanao develops into Tropical Depression Ambo
(UPDATED) Tropical Depression Ambo is the Philippines' first tropical cyclone for 2020

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MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The low pressure area (LPA) inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) developed into a tropical depression at 2 pm on Sunday, May 10. It was given the local name Ambo.

Tropical Depression Ambo is the Philippines’ first tropical cyclone for 2020.

In a bulletin issued 5 pm on Sunday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ambo is now 545 kilometers east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur.

It is moving west northwest at 15 kilometers per hour (km/h).

At the moment, the tropical depression has maximum winds of 45 km/h and gustiness of up to 55 km/h. Based on its latest forecast track, Ambo is likely to remain a tropical depression.

PAGASA said it is less likely to raise tropical cyclone wind signals in the next 48 hours. (READ: Why is it now called tropical cyclone ‘wind’ – and not ‘warning’ – signals?)

But in the next 24 hours, the trough or extension of Ambo is expected to bring rain.

PAGASA warned of scattered light to moderate rain, with isolated heavy rain during thunderstorms, in the following areas:

  • Caraga
  • Davao Region
  • Soccsksargen
  • Maguindanao

“Residents in these areas are advised to continue monitoring for updates, especially the local rainfall or thunderstorm advisories and heavy rainfall warnings,” PAGASA said.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte suspended work in government and private offices from 3 pm on Sunday until Monday, May 11, “except for offices that are related to disaster, emergency, rescue, health, and social services.”

In the coming days, Ambo may affect parts of the Visayas and Luzon. PAGASA is expected to issue more detailed forecasts as the tropical depression nears.

Forecast track of Tropical Depression Ambo as of May 10, 2020, 5 pm. Image from PAGASA

The Philippines gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

In PAGASA’s climate outlook, it gave the following estimates for the number of tropical cyclones in the next 6 months:

  • May – 1 or 2
  • June – 1 or 2
  • July – 2 to 4
  • August – 2 or 3
  • September – 2 or 3
  • October – 2 or 3

The arrival of Ambo also comes as the Philippines combats the coronavirus outbreak. As of Sunday, the country has 10,794 coronavirus cases, with 719 deaths. –

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Acor Arceo

Acor Arceo is the head of copy and editorial standards at Rappler. Trained in both online and TV newsrooms, Acor ensures consistency in editorial standards across all sections and also supervises Rappler’s coverage of disasters.