Tropical Storm Ambo maintains strength off Ilocos Sur

Acor Arceo

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Tropical Storm Ambo maintains strength off Ilocos Sur
Tropical Storm Ambo (Vongfong) is over the coastal waters of Santa Cruz, Ilocos Sur, early Saturday morning, May 16

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MANILA, Philippines – Tropical Storm Ambo (Vongfong) maintained its strength and slightly accelerated while over the coastal waters of Santa Cruz, Ilocos Sur, early Saturday morning, May 16.

In a bulletin issued 8 am on Saturday, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said Ambo is now moving north northwest at 20 kilometers per hour (km/h) from the previous 15 km/h.

It continues to have maximum winds of 75 km/h, while its gustiness decreased to 115 km/h from the previous 125 km/h. It is expected to later weaken into a tropical depression and then into a low pressure area. (READ: FAST FACTS: Tropical cyclones, rainfall advisories)

Ambo earlier made landfall 6 times as a typhoon and once as a severe tropical storm.

Thursday, May 14

  • San Policarpo, Eastern Samar – 12:15 pm
  • Dalupiri Island, Northern Samar – 10:15 pm
  • Capul Island, Northern Samar – 10:30 pm

Friday, May 15

  • Ticao Island, Masbate – 12 am
  • Burias Island, Masbate – 3 am
  • San Andres, Quezon – 7:45 am
  • Real, Quezon – 5 pm

Below is the latest list of areas under tropical cyclone wind signals. (READ: Why is it now called tropical cyclone ‘wind’ – and not ‘warning’ – signals?)

Signal No. 2 (winds of 61 to 120 km/h, or strong to damaging gale-force winds during the passage of the tropical storm)

  • Ilocos Norte
  • Ilocos Sur
  • La Union
  • eastern part of Pangasinan (Lingayen, San Carlos City, Basista, Malasiqui, Alcala, Sto Tomas, Rosales, Balungao, Umingan, Binmaley, Calasiao, Sta Barbara, Urdaneta City, Villasis, Sta Maria, San Quintin, Dagupan City, Mangaldan, Mapandan, Manaoag, Laoac, Binalonan, Asingan, Tayug, Natividad, San Jacinto, Pozzorubio, San Fabian, Sison, San Manuel, San Nicolas)
  • Apayao
  • Abra
  • Kalinga
  • Mountain Province
  • Ifugao
  • Benguet
  • Babuyan Islands
  • northwestern part of mainland Cagayan (Santa Praxedes, Claveria, Sanchez Mira, Pamplona, Abulug)
  • Nueva Vizcaya
  • northern part of Nueva Ecija (Carranglan, Lupao, San Jose City, Pantabangan)

Signal No. 1 (winds of 30 to 60 km/h, or strong to near-gale-force winds during the passage of the tropical storm)

  • Batanes
  • rest of Cagayan
  • Isabela
  • Quirino
  • Aurora
  • rest of Nueva Ecija
  • Tarlac
  • northern part of Zambales (Santa Cruz, Candelaria, Masinloc, Palauig, Iba)
  • rest of Pangasinan

PAGASA also said moderate to heavy rain will persist in Northern Luzon and parts of Central Luzon this weekend. Residents are advised to stay on alert for floods and landslides. The affected areas are:

Saturday, May 16

  • Ilocos Region
  • Cordillera Administrative Region
  • Cagayan Valley
  • northern part of Aurora
  • northern part of Zambales

Sunday, May 17

  • Batanes
  • Babuyan Islands

Tens of thousands of people earlier fled their homes as authorities enforced preemptive evacuation. (READ: Social distancing ‘per family’ at Typhoon Ambo evacuation centers)

Sea travel remains risky for all vessels in the seaboards of areas under tropical cyclone wind signals, as well as in the east coast of Quezon, including Polillo Island.

Ambo is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility on Monday afternoon, May 18.

Forecast track of Tropical Storm Ambo (Vongfong) as of May 16, 2020, 8 am. Image from PAGASA

Ambo is the Philippines’ first tropical cyclone for 2020. The country gets an average of 20 tropical cyclones per year. (READ: LIST: PAGASA’s names for tropical cyclones in 2020)

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


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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.