Officials order evacuations as Typhoon Ambo impacts the Philippines

As Typhoon Ambo continues to strengthen, AccuWeather meteorologists forecast that the Philippines will take a direct hit from the destructive tropical system.

The powerful storm, also referred to as Vongfong by Japan Meteorological Agency, has been slowly approaching the eastern islands of the Philippines for days.

Now with sustained winds of 150 km/h (93 mph), Ambo is equivalent to a category 1 hurricane in the Atlantic and East Pacific basins.

ALSO READ: Nearly 10,000 evacuate in Samar due to Ambo; power out in whole province

According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Typhoon Ambo made landfall over San Policarpo, in the Eastern Samar province of the Philippines at 12:15 p.m. local time.

In preparation of the storm, towns forecast to be in the path of the typhoon have began to issue evacuations and distribution of relief packages. A total of 515 families were evacuated from the towns of Maninila, Tandarora and Muladbucad Grande, all in the Albay area between the cities of Naga and Legazpi City.

RELATED: Signal No. 3 raised over Bicol provinces; Signal No. 1 in Metro Manila

Given the continuation of the global COVID-19 pandemic, evacuees were required to wear face masks.

The brunt of the storm will continue to impact the island Thursday with typhoon-strength winds and heavy rainfall likely.

While several landfalls are possible, each one that Ambo makes will increase the chances that the storm will weaken.
The most likely track, at this time, keeps the center of Ambo off the coast of Luzon through early Saturday, local time, which may allow it to hold onto its identity as a typhoon a little longer.

As much as 50 to 100 mm (2-4 inches) is possible as far south as Cebu and all the way up to Manila.

Heavy tropical downpours throughout the second half of the week can increase the risk of flooding and mudslides across the area.

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