Philippines

Philippines: Super Typhoon Goni (Rolly) and Typhoon Vamco (Ulysses) - Flash Update No. 5 (as of 17 November 2020, 9 p.m. local time)

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Situation Overview and Impact

Typhoon Vamco (Ulysses) wreaked havoc across Luzon on 11-12 November with more than three million people from 5,594 barangays in eight regions affected, according to latest government reports, with 283,656 people seeking refuge in 2,205 evacuation centres while 158,926 people are in home-based setting.

The country has suffered a triple hit, typhoons Quinta, Rolly and Ulysses in quick succession, causing the worst floods in recent memory.

The already swollen Cagayan River in northern Luzon rose quickly, inundating low-lying communities when authorities released water from Magat Dam, one of the largest in the country, to prevent the dam from reaching its critical spilling level. Ambuklao and Binga dams in Benguet province and Ipo Dam in Bulacan province may cease releasing excess water soon. At least 1.1 million people were affected by the flooding in the two provinces of Isabela and Cagayan including Tuguegarao City, which local authorities said were the worst in the region in four decades.
Some 82,900 people remain displaced in the provinces affected by Typhoon Goni, of which 38,600 are in 481 evacuation centers while 44,300 are being served outside of formal shelters. At least 25 people have died and more than 390 have been injured while six people remain missing in the aftermath of the super typhoon, according to the Government.

Agriculture damage from the sequence of typhoons has reached $49 million in Region 2 and $207 million across affected regions in Luzon. Preliminary estimates of damage to infrastructure was recorded at $165 million in 8 regions. According to the Department of Energy, power has now been restored in 60 out of 316 cities and municipalities. Some 50 municipalities in two regions continue to experience water interruption and 51 cities are experiencing communication network interruption. Several health facilities were damaged in three regions, with patients transferred from five quarantine facilities in Cagayan.

In Marikina City, classes at all levels are suspended for one month due to the still unstable internet connection and damaged self-learning modules submerged in floodwater. Region-wide suspension of classes (all levels) was declared in four regions and in the cities of Cuayan (Isabela province), as well as Parañaque, Caloocan and Manila in the National Capital Region.

The death toll from Typhoon Vamco (Ulysses) currently stands at 73, with 24 people reported injured and 19 still missing. Some 3,700 rescue personnel from government and private groups were deployed over the weekend of 14-15 November, rescuing at least 83,600 people from up to 5-meters deep floods. Rescue operations are still ongoing as the waters are slow to recede, while at least 50 villages remain isolated.

Government preparedness and response

To facilitate early recovery actions, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) recommended to the government to place the entire Luzon, home to over 60 million people, under a state of calamity following the impact of the recent typhoons. The provinces that already declared state of calamity include Cagayan, Isabela and Cavite, Quezon, Camarines Sur and Catanduanes.

On 14 November, the government announced creation of a task force, that will be in charge of rehabilitation of calamity-stricken areas and will focus and further develop expertise on post-disaster rehabilitation and recovery.

More equipment and personnel, including doctors, nurses, search and rescue teams were sent to the worst affected areas by the national authorities to strengthen disaster response. The Department of Agriculture released $45.6 million in assistance to Cagayan Valley farmers hit hard by Typhoon Vamco (Ulysses). The education department will replace damaged printed self-learning modules (SLMs) of learners being validated by the department’s Disaster Risk Reduction Management Services Team and Bureau of Learning Resources teams.

The Department of Budget and Finance announced a $312 million replenishment of national government quick response funds to enable line ministries mount response efforts by tapping into quickly available resources. The Department of Social Welfare and Development provided more than $0.53 million worth of aid to affected families, with most of the assistance going to Bicol Region to aid the provinces of Catanduanes,
Albay, Camarines Norte, and Camarines Sur. DSWD continues to respond both to Typhoon Goni (Rolly) and Vamco (Ulysses). The Philippine Air Force is conducting food air drops to areas that are hard to reach. The Department of Health (DOH) provided $0.6 million worth of medicine, hygiene kits and COVID-19 response supplies in addition to $0.4 million worth of supplies that came from DOH regional offices. DOH deployed safety officers in evacuation areas to enforce health standards and teams from the National Center for Mental Health for psychosocial support. Health and safety officers are also advised to look out for water and food-borne diseases that may spread in the evacuation centres.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.