The southeastern nation was hit by the sixth storm in five weeks, causing more pain to the devastated communities.
Heavy rain from Typhoon Vamco on Thursday inundated the provinces on the main island of Luzon in the Philippines, killing at least one person, paralyzing parts of Manila and bringing more misery to communities following Typhoon Goni earlier in the month.
The Philippine Coast Guard said it had deployed at least 20 rescue teams with search and rescue equipment in the capital and nearby provinces as residents shared videos and photos of the devastation on social media.
The Philippine Red Cross said the storm caused more trouble for people who are still trying to clean up after Goni killed at least 25 people and destroyed thousands of homes. Filipinos are also struggling with the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“It is important to start rebuilding quickly and help people recover from a devastating typhoon, but these non-stop storms are striking our communities during a deadly pandemic, making this one of the most complicated disaster responses ever,” said Richard Gordon, chairman of the Philippine Red Cross, in a statement.
“We mobilized all available resources to meet this new challenge and supported communities that are bouncing back after being hard hit by multiple storms in addition to the relentless physical, emotional and economic consequences of COVID-19.”
Impressive. This morning. Marcos Highway SM Marikina. #UlyssesPH (credit to owner, video sent to me) pic.twitter.com/9zKL6KXJxp
– Karen Davila (@iamkarendavila) November 12, 2020
Army, PNP and private sector rescue teams continue rescues for residents trapped in Tañong along A. Bonifacio Avenue in Marikina. The tide is chest deep along the main road. | via @dolandcastro pic.twitter.com/oDsKtAYX4S
– ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) November 12, 2020
So far it is known that three people are missing as a result of Vamco – the 21st typhoon to hit the country this year.
Six storms, five weeks
Arlyn Rodriguez, a Marikina City resident, told DZMM radio station she was waiting to be rescued with 20 others, mostly children and the elderly, after the floods rose rapidly.
Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro said 40,000 houses were either wholly or partially submerged in the area.
“It is heartbreaking to see a population already affected by the COVID pandemic facing another major storm, the sixth to hit the Philippines in the past five weeks,” said Robert Kaufman, head of the IFRC Philippine Country Office, as an organization, launched a humanitarian appeal for CHF 3.5 million (US $ 3.8 million).
“Every woman, every man and every child in this devastated region is confronted with difficulties and increased risks. We cannot face these challenges alone.
Flooding in Limanan, Camarines Sur [Lance Aborquez/Red Cross]In parts of Manila, people with valuables and pets waded through waist-high floods. A video showed a makeshift bridge propelled by the floods that hit an overpass.
Flights and public transport have been suspended while the Coast Guard ceased operations at the port and government offices closed.
Vamco is now weakened, with sustained winds of 130 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 215 km / h as it moves over Luzon, where half of the 108 million people in the Philippines live.
The typhoon is expected to head towards central Vietnam, where floods and landslides killed at least 160 people, missed dozen and damaged 390,000 homes in the past month.