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  • Writer's pictureMelo Acuna

UN'S OCHA reports on "Ambo"

Typhoon Ambo leaves 115 injured, two casualties

MANILA – This year’s first weather disturbance Vongfong (locally known as Ambo) eventually weakened from a Category 3 typhoon to a tropical storm after passing through central to northern Philippines characterized by seven landfalls in a span of two days. It eventually left Luzon last Thursday, May 16. It became a low-pressure area as it left the Philippine Area of Responsibility over the weekend.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), citing a report from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), some 382,700 people were affected in 276 villages in Regions II, III, V, VII and Cordillera Administrative Region. Prior to the typhoon’s arrival, over 180,000 were evacuated. The evacuation centers have been closed in a follow-up report from the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

There were two fatalities while 115 others were injured. With the combination of torrential rains and violent winds, Vongfong left a trail of extensive damage in the country beset with problems brought about by COVID-19. About 3,000 homes were destroyed while 13,900 suffered damages, particularly in Eastern Samar province where Ambo made its first land fall.

Secretary William D. Dar was quoted saying the agriculture sector incurred damages amounting to US$30.8 million or P1.56 billion affecting some 25,000 hectares where production losses were estimated to have reached 65,000 metric tons of rice, corn and other high-value crops. Some 40,000 farmers have been affected. It was learned 23 health facilities were damaged where three are non-functional including a COVID-19 accredited testing laboratory. Some 120 schools suffered damagers with other infrastructure damaged amounting to US$11.4 million or P525 million.

With Eastern Samar under a State of Calamity, the provincial leadership under Governor Ben Evardone sought the national government’s permission to activate their quick response funds to help in disaster response and recovery. He was quoted saying their calamity fund has been exhausted with their COVID-19 response for the past two and half months. (Melo M. Acuña)

Typhoon Ambo disrupted freight services as ferries to and from Samar to Sorsogon have been suspended last May 14,2020. (PNP PRO5 Photo)

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