Philippines: Floods and Typhoons 2020 (Typhoon Vamco) Operation Update Report n° 4, DREF Operation n° MDRPH041



Description of the disaster

Typhoon Vamco, locally known as Ulysses, made landfall on 11 November 2020 in Patnanungan, Quezon, south of the capital Manila. Maximum sustained winds recorded were 155 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 255 kilometers per hour. It was the Philippines’ 21st named storm for the year 2020 and a fifth storm to hit the country in a three-week period.

Heavy rains brought by Typhoon Vamco caused severe flooding and landslides. Local authorities reported the floods as the worst in 45 years. Typhoon Vamco caused widespread damage to houses, in addition to massive displacement of people to evacuation centers or in makeshift shelters in roadside camps. The floods were up to five meters deep in places, causing significant damage to agriculture, shelter and infrastructure. Electrical power and communication services were severely disrupted. Northern Luzon, Provinces of Cagayan and Isabela experienced the most damage.

On 18 November, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) declared a Luzon-wide “state of calamity” following the back-to-back typhoons. The declaration made it easier for local governments in Luzon to access quick response calamity funds to speed up relief and rehabilitation efforts, which for many localities have been depleted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.