MANILA – Ferocious wind and rain left at least one person dead and over 140,000 evacuees as a powerful typhoon makes landfall in the Philippines on Friday, May 15.
Typhoon Ambo (Vongfong) has damaged hundreds of homes and coronavirus isolation facilities in five hard-hit eastern towns yesterday.
Governor Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar province, where the typhoon made the first landfall, said that local residents were distraught after their houses were destroyed or blown away by the strong winds. One villager who lost his home slashed his wrist but was treated in time.
The governor also confirmed that a man bled to death after getting hit with glass shards in a school he was trying to open to take shelter from the storm.
“The damage I saw was very extensive. The roof of one church was ripped off completely, its iron bars twisted badly by the typhoon,” Evardone told The Associated Press in an interview. At least 140,000 had evacuated to emergency shelters because of the powerful storm. The mass evacuation was also slowed down because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“ Our ease of movement has been limited by COVID,” Yucot said by telephone from Albay province in the Bicol region, which has had dozens of coronavirus infections deaths, and remains under quarantine.
“In the evacuation centers, there are more challenges.” Office of Civil Defense Director Claudio Yucot said.
Ambo begins to weaken into a tropical storm after making landfall and headed northwest toward the northern island of Luzon.
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