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CARE prepares for first typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, ready to respond

Typhoon Vongfong (locally known as Ambo), the first typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, continues to intensify and is expected to remain within the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) until Monday, May 18, 2020.

As of May 14, 2020 2 PM, Vongfong has made landfall in the provinces of Northern and Eastern Samar. Vongfong will have a maximum sustained winds of up to 150 km/h near the center and is currently moving west at 15 km/h.

The typhoon is forecasted to bring heavy rainfalls and winds in the Eastern Visayas Region, the Bicol Region, Aurora, Quezon, and Romblon provinces, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Sciences Administration (PAG-ASA). General flood warnings have also been issued in the Eastern Visayas and Bicol Region.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) has also warned that torrential rains may cause lahar to flow down the slopes of Mayon Volcano in the province of Albay.

Local authorities warn people to prepare for storm surges in coastal communities, and landslides and flashfloods in upland and low-lying areas. Its powerful winds can uproot trees and topple electric posts.

 “Apart from the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Philippines is also starting to enter the monsoon season. CARE and partners are ready to conduct assessments and respond as needed, while ensuring proper social distancing and following local quarantine protocols,” said David Gazashvili, CARE Philippines Country Director.

CARE has been working in the Philippines since 1949, helping communities prepare for disasters, and providing emergency relief and recovery when disaster strikes.  CARE has ongoing programs across the Philippines, including in the areas potentially affected by Typhoon Vongfong.  CARE is closely monitoring the track of the typhoon, and is ready to activate assessment and response teams in coordination with partner organizations and local government units on the ground.

Photo Credit: Eastern Visayas Media Without Borders

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