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12 Nov 2020 | 06:37 PM UTC

Philippines: Typhoon Vamco kills 13 and 15 others missing November 12 /update 4

Typhoon Vamco kills 13 and 15 others reported missing as of November 12; residual disruptions likely over the near term

environment
transportation
PHL

Event

According to the latest report by the Philippine National Police (PNP) at 18:00 (local time) on Thursday, November 12, at least 13 people have been killed and 20 others injured across the country in the wake of Typhoon Vamco (known locally as Ulysses). The PNP also reported that 350,000 people had been evacuated due to the storm. Reports indicate that millions are without power after flooding was reported in many areas, including in Manila. The storm system made landfall in Quezon province at around 23:00 on Wednesday, November 11, as the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane and swept across the main island of Luzon, before passing out into the South China Sea on Thursday.

Residual disruptions to utilities, transport, and businesses are expected to continue across much of Luzon in the coming days following the flooding and destruction caused by the storm.

Context

Tropical depressions, storms, and typhoons typically hit Eastern Visayas as well as Southern, Central, and Northern Luzon during the typhoon season between June and November. However, a number of storm systems in the past years have also affected Central and Western Visayas, as well as eastern, northern, central, and western Mindanao, and have reached the country outside the typhoon season. Local meteorologists attribute these changes to climate change. In general, approximately 19 storms and typhoons enter the country's area of responsibility every year, and PAGASA reports that at least six weather systems make a direct landfall.

These storm systems have the potential to unleash heavy downpours and powerful winds, as well as trigger a major storm surge that pose considerable hazards to human life and infrastructure. Despite a credible risk, the Philippines has inadequate preparedness and crisis response that increases the impact of storm systems on human communities, strategic infrastructure as well as travel and service delivery.

Advice

Those in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, including evacuation orders. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.

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