Tropical storm Ambo, with international name Vongfong, has intensified into a severe tropical storm as it travels west-northwestward, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) on Wednesday afternoon.

In its 5 p.m. Severe Weather Bulletin, the weather bureau raised a tropical cyclone wind signal (TCWS) No.1 over parts of Luzon and Visayas:

  • Sorsogon
  • Ticao Island
  • Catanduanes
  • Southern portion of Albay (Oas, Tabaco, Ligao City, Pio Duran, Guinobatan, Malilipot, Jovellar, Camalig, Santo Domingo, Bacacay, Rapu-Rapu, Daraga, Legazpi, Manito)
  • Northern Samar
  • The northern portion of Samar (Calbayog, Sta. Margarita, Gandara, Matuguinao, Pagsanghan, San Jorge, San Jose de Buan, Tarangnan, Catbalogan City, Jiabong, Motiong, San Sebastian, Paranas, Hinabangan)
  • The northern portion of Eastern Samar (Jipapad, Arteche, Maslog, Oras, San Policarpio, Dolores, Can-avid, Taft, Sulat, San Julian, Borongan City)

TCWS No.1 may be possible over the southern portion of Camarines Sur and the rest of Albay in the next bulletin at 11 p.m., PAGASA announced. 

The center of Ambo was spotted at 315 kilometers east of Borongan City, Eastern Samar as of 4 p.m. on Wednesday. The storm has maximum sustained winds of 95 kilometers per hour and gustiness of up to 115 kph.

PAGASA further added that Ambo may further intensify as it steers towards the Eastern Visayas-Bicol Region area.  (RJ Espartinez)