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25 Dec 2019 | 08:37 PM UTC

Philippines: Several fatalities due to Typhoon Ursula December 26 /update 3

Typhoon Ursula reportedly leaves at least four dead as of December 26; associated disruptions expected, rescue and recovery operations ongoing

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PHL

Event

As of Thursday, December 26, at least four people have reportedly died due to Typhoon Ursula (Phanfone) as it passed through the central regions from Tuesday, December 24, through Wednesday, December 25. Several hundred emergency personnel are deployed to the affected areas for search and rescue operations. At 06:00 (local time) on Thursday, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) confirmed that 1654 people are spread across 31 evacuation centers. It also said that authorities have restored power to 24 out of 87 affected cities and municipalities. The NDRRMC announced that 13 road sections have been damaged in Western and Eastern Visayas, of which seven are still not passable. Several airlines have canceled domestic flights on Thursday, through Friday, December 27, including to and from Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport (MNL). Further transportation, power and communication disruptions are anticipated in the coming hours and days.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued a statement at 05:00 on Thursday forecasting Ursula to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) in the morning on Saturday, December 28. As of 04:00 on Thursday, the typhoon is located in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) at approximately 12.9°N 119.1°E (map here) and is moving west-northwest at 15 kph (9.3 mph), with maximum sustained winds of 130 kph (81 mph). PAGASA expects Ursula to continue to bring heavy rain to central and northern Mimaropa, Calabarzon, Metro Manila and Central Luzon regions, as well as the associated risk of flooding and landslides. The meteorology agency also continues to advise against sea travel due to rough sea conditions.

Advice

Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, to confirm flight reservations and to contact their airline for additional information, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.