'Ambo' weakens as it leaves PH; Signal No. 1 still raised over northern part of Luzon

By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Tropical cyclone "Ambo" (international name: "Vongfong") further weakened into a tropical depression on Saturday evening (May 16) while on its way outside the country's area of responsibility, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

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From a typhoon with peak intensity of 190 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of 255 kph when it hit Eastern Visayas last Thursday, Ambo gradually weakened after crossing land and re-emerging over the coast west of Luzon on Saturday morning.

It is now downgraded to a tropical depression with maximum sustained winds of 55 kph and gusts up to 70 kph.

Signal No. 1 remains hoisted over Ilocos Norte, Batanes, Babuyan Islands, northwestern portion of Cagayan, and northern portion of Apayao.

PAGASA advised the public that light to moderate with at times heavy rains may still affect Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Pangasinan, Abra, Apayao, Benguet, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mountain Province, Batanes, Cagayan, Isabela, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and northern Aurora until Saturday evening.

Likewise, moderate with at times heavy rains may continue over Batanes and Babuyan Islands on Sunday.

PAGASA continued to advise people in these areas to take extra precautions against possible flooding and rain-induced landslides during heavy or prolonged rainfall.

Sea travel also remains risky for all types of sea vessels on the seaboards of areas under Signal No. 1.

As of 7 p.m., the cyclone was over the Luzon Strait about 120 kilometers (km) north of Laoag City, Ilocos Norte or 90 km west of Calayan, Cagayan. By Sunday afternoon, Ambo will likely be 175 km north of Basco, Batanes.

Should it maintain its north-northeast movement at 20 kph, Ambo will likely be outside the country's area of responsibility by Monday afternoon.