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26 Dec 2019 | 01:11 PM UTC

Philippines: At least 20 killed by Typhoon Ursula December 26 /update 4

At least 20 dead as of December 26 following passage of Typhoon Ursula; power, transportation, and business disruptions ongoing



According to officials, at least 20 people have reportedly been killed as of Thursday, December 26, following the passage of Typhoon Ursula (Phanfone). The fatalities were primarily concentrated in the central provinces of Capiz, Iloilo, and Leyte, mostly due to drowning, falling trees, and accidental electrocution. As of 08:00 (local time) on Thursday, nearly 4000 people remain stranded at ports in Southern Tagalog and Western Visayas. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), some 115 domestic flights have been canceled, leaving more than 15,700 passengers stranded. 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) on the morning on Saturday, December 28. As of 22:00 on Thursday, the typhoon is located in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) at approximately 14.0°N, 117.5°E (map here) and is moving northwest at 10 kph (6 mph), with maximum sustained winds of 120 kph (74 mph). According to PAGASA, Ursula is no longer causing significant heavy rainfall across any part of the Philippines, though moderate rains can expected over Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Aurora, and Quezon, along with the associated risk of flooding and landslides. The meteorology agency also continues to advise against sea travel due to rough sea conditions.


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.