Typhoon Vamco triggers heavy flooding in Manila, provinces

Typhoon Vamco, the third powerful cyclone to batter Philippines in 11 days, made landfall, unleashing fierce winds and intense rains that triggered landslide, rockslide and flash floods in regions ravaged by Super Typhoon Goni early this month.

Vamco also felled trees and caused a massive power outage in large parts of Manila and many provinces on Wednesday night, Xinhua reported.

At least one man died due to the typhoon, and three fishermen were reported missing, the country’s disaster agency said.

Many areas in Metro Manila and provinces in the Bicol region, as well as in the central Luzon and northern Luzon, were inundated, state-run People’s Television Network footage showed.

Footage also showed farmers begging in the flooded road of Polangui town in Albay province after Typhoon Vamco destroyed their crops.

The networks also posted a picture of a dog and a man rescued in San Mateo town in Rizal province, east of Manila.

The Philippine Coast Guard rescued 122 families in Cavite province. Rescuers used rubber boats to reach stranded people.

In Marikina City in Metro Manila, several families were evacuated to safety after the river swelled to a dangerous level. Soldiers also helped in the rescue operation.

Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro told radio DZBB that the city is overwhelmed as floods reached the rooflines of several houses.

Distressed flood victims called the local radio stations or posted on social media to appeal for help.

Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Vamco caused “huge damage,” adding the typhoon flooded low-lying areas and “blown off structures.”

Vamco, packing sustained winds of 130 km per hour and gusts of up to 200 km per hour, is blowing away to the South China Sea.

Typhoons and tropical storms regularly hit the Philippines from June through December, claiming hundreds of lives and causing billions of dollars in damages.

One of the country’s worst, Typhoon Haiyan, killed over 7,000 in the central Philippines in November 2013.

Located in the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” the Philippines is among the most disaster-prone countries in the world, including active volcanoes, frequent earthquakes, and an average of 20 typhoons a year, causing floods and landslides.

Nearly three-fourths of the country’s population is vulnerable to multiple natural hazards, and such disasters worsen poverty in typhoon-prone provinces along the country’s eastern seaboard.

The Philippines lost 463 billion pesos (roughly 9.56 billion US dollars) in damages to natural disasters from 2010 to 2019, the Philippine Statistics Authority reported.