Typhoon Vongfong threatens pandemic-stricken Philippines

Alert#1: May 13, 2020

The country which continues to be shaken by COVID-19, faces yet  another climate threat as Typhoon Vongfong slowly moves toward the eastern part.

Locally named Ambo, the typhoon bats a maximum sustained winds of 130kph near the center and gustiness up to 160kph.

As of 10PM, the typhoon is spotted about 325km east of Catarman, Northern Samar and moves in a 15km/h westward direction. Weather experts predict the typhoon  to make a landfall in Albay, Bicol region on Friday morning.

Tropical cyclone signal number two (2) has been raised in Northern Samar and some eastern municipalities of Eastern Samar province. Winds of greater than 60km/h is expected within 24 hours.

Strong winds and heavy rain winds are also anticipated in the Bicol Region as Signal number one is raised in the area.

“As of now, the weather is not yet gloomy. But there is a sense of preparedness in the community. People are cleaning their canals to avoid flood,” shares Rey Montimor, World Vision Program Manager in Albay.

The province of Albay is already in preparedness status. It activates the disaster risk reduction units of municipalities and the city to be on close monitoring of the typhoon. The local government also advised the units to implement preemptive evacuation before the expected landfall of the typhoon. Because of the threat of COVID-19 virus, health standard protocol such as social distancing, wearing of face mask, and sanitation will be followed.

The Bicol Region currently has 59 COVID-19 confirmed cases.

World Vision continues to monitor the approaching typhoon, as thousands of vulnerable families, currently reeling from the pandemic, could be further affected and possibly displaced.