TACLOBAN CITY – At least two persons went missing and one was injured in Eastern Samar while thousands of families moved to safer grounds as Typhoon Ambo (international name: Vongfong) unleashed its wrath in the northeastern part of Samar Island on Thursday.
Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone reported two persons from the island village of Tubabao in Oras town went missing while one was injured by flying debris in Can-avid town.
Evardone said power outage hit the entire province and communication is down in several areas after the typhoon made its first landfall in the town of San Policarpo, Eastern Samar around 12:15 p.m.
“Some houses, especially those made of light materials and several fishing boats were also damaged. Some families are in evacuation centers, particularly in Arteche, Taft and San Policarpo towns,” Evardone said in a social media post.
Communication is down in the towns of Dolores, Oras, San Policarpo, Arteche, and Jipapad.
Violent winds destroyed the gymnasium of Maslog and Oras towns.
On Thursday morning, the provincial government ordered the preemptive evacuation of families in coastal, landslide-prone and low-lying communities.
The governor asked local officials to open more public facilities as temporary evacuation to ensure social distancing as the country fights the spread of coronavirus.
The Department of Public Works and Highways said the road linking the provinces of Eastern Samar and Samar has been closed due to several fallen trees and threat of landslides and rockslides.
Also closed is the main highway leading to the northern towns of the province.
In Northern Samar, the provincial government reported that at least 2,485 families and 10,367 individuals moved to evacuation centers in 13 towns as of 4 p.m.
As of Thursday night, Ambo maintains its strength as it continues to cross the northern portion of Samar Island.
The typhoon is bringing violent winds and heavy to intense rains over the northern portion of Samar and the southern portion of Northern Samar, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration.
The typhoon packs maximum sustained winds of up to 155 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 255 kph, moving westward at 15 kph.
Tropical cyclone wind signal No. 3 has been raised over several areas in the three Samar provinces. (PNA)