Philippines: Tropical Storm Tembin Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF n° MDRPH026



Description of the disaster

There have been two significant weather systems to enter the Philippines Area of Responsibility (PAR) since 12 December 2017.

Tropical Storm Kai-tak: On 12 December 2017, a low-pressure area (LPA) within the PAR developed into a Tropical Depression which was named Kai-tak (locally Urduja). The tropical depression moved north northwest, and by 14 December was reclassified as a Tropical Storm. Kai-tak remained almost stationary off the coast of the Eastern Visayas region and continued to bring moderate to heavy rain across the Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions as it slowly moved towards land. Kai-tak kept its slow pace and eventually made landfall on the afternoon of 16 December 2017 over San Policarpio, Eastern Samar.

Kai-tak brought heavy rain which triggered flashfloods, floods and a reported 17 landslides in the Eastern Visayas region. In some areas in the province of Samar, as much as two months’ worth of rain poured over a 24-hour span. Tacloban City in Leyte was put under state of calamity on 15 December 2017 due to floods. The municipality of Naval in Biliran province was also put under a state of calamity due to landslides. National disaster management authorities said 41 people were killed and 45 others remain missing.

As Kai-tak approached, the Philippine government ordered the pre-emptive evacuation of families in the likely affected areas in Eastern Visayas. As of 20 December 2017, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), more than 280,000 families were affected in Region IV-B (MIMAROPA), Region-V (Bicol Region), Region VI (Western Visayas), Region VII (Central Visayas), Region VIII (Eastern Visayas) and CARAGA. Of the affected, more than 267,000 families were from Region VIII and more than 7,500 from Region V. Moreover, some 11,000 families, mostly from Northern and Western Samar province are still housed in 205 evacuation centres.

Tropical Storm Tembin (Vinta): According to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), an LPA off Mindanao intensified into a Tropical Storm before dawn on Thursday, 21 December 2017, as it continued heading for land. In a bulletin issued at 05:00, 21 December 2017, PAGASA said Tembin had maximum winds of 65 kilometres per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 80 kph. The tropical storm was 510 kilometres east of Hinatuan, Surigao del Sur as of reporting, moving west at a slightly slower 18 kph from the previous 20 kph. PAGASA warned that scattered to widespread moderate to heavy rain is expected over Eastern Visayas,
CARAGA and Davao Regions within 24 hours. Residents of these areas have been advised to undertake precautionary measures, coordinate with their respective local disaster risk reduction and management offices, and continue monitoring for updates.

Based on its latest forecast track, Tembin will make landfall over CARAGA - Davao Region area between Thursday (December 21) evening and Friday (December 22) morning. After landfall, Tembin is expected to cross CARAGA, Northern Mindanao, the Zamboanga Peninsula, and Southern Palawan. It will then leave PAR on 24 December 2017.

Residents of Eastern Mindanao and Eastern Visayas have been put on alert for possible flash floods and landslides. These areas are particularly susceptible to the impacts of heavy rains with flash floods, landslides and flooding.

Eastern Visayas is still suffering from the damage brought by Tropical Depression Kai-tak, which battered the region as a tropical storm. It is expected that Tropical Storm Tembin will exacerbate the issues in the Kai-tak affected areas.