Philippines: Typhoon Kammuri Flash Update No. 1 (As of 02 December 2019, 3 p.m. local time)
On 30 November, Typhoon Kammuri (locally named Tisoy) entered the Philippines Area of Responsibility (PAR) and continued to move westwards towards the Bicol region. According to the Philippines weather bureau PAGASA, Typhoon Kammuri continues to gain strength as it crosses the warmer waters of the eastern seaboard; currently packing maximum winds of 150 km/h near the centre and gustiness of up to 185 km/h. At 1 p.m. local time, the eye of the typhoon was located 195 km east of Sorsogon province, moving west southwest at 25 km/h. The chances of the storm recurving at this stage are slim due to presence of a high-pressure area north of the weather system.
The typhoon is forecasted to make landfall in Bicol region between the night of 2 December and early morning of 3 December, then move slightly north westward through Camarines Sur, Quezon and to the south of Metro Manila as it exits the landmass by late evening. Typhoon Kammuri’s sustained winds will reach peak intensity of 160-180 km/h upon landfall, and then weaken as it crosses land but will still be within typhoon category. Areas along the typhoon’s track will experience heavy to intense rains and strong winds starting Monday, 2 December, with the possibility of more than four meters of storm surge in the provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Sur and Quezon.
Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal no. 3 has been issued for affected areas in Bicol region, including Catanduanes and the eastern portion of Camarines Sur. Signal no. 2 has been issued for Central Luzon, including Metro Manila and Bulacan province. By the time Kammuri reaches south of Metro Manila it will likely have Tropical Storm strength winds. Upwards of 400-500mm of rainfall is expected in Bicol region and possibly southern Luzon, thus flooding and landslides threaten significant damage. Government authorities identified more than 10,000 barangays (villages) in regions likely to be affected which are susceptible to flooding and landslides if rains exceed more than 150 millimetres.
According to the Joint Analysis of Disaster Response (JADE) conducted by the Pacific Disaster Center (PDC), WFP and OCHA, more than 9 million people are expected to be affected by Typhoon Kammuri and experience moderate or higher wind damage. Out of the total number of people affected, 3 million are living in areas expected to be seriously affected and will likely require humanitarian assistance. Out of those, an estimated 1 million people (about 300,000 children under 15 years; 612,000 adults; 50,000 elderly over 65 years) are considered highly vulnerable based on pre-existing socioeconomic indicators.
Government response preparations and humanitarian coordination The Government is leading preparations for response activities to Typhoon Kammuri. Over the weekend, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) convened its members for a Pre-Disaster Risk Assessment (PDRA). NDRRMC is on red alert status and activated the national and regional emergency operations centers. Local authorities in the likely affected areas were directed to take pre-emptive and mandatory evacuations, prepositioning of food stockpiles, and alert search and rescue teams. The public has been warned to expect moderate to intense rains and strong winds in central and southern Luzon, Bicol region and Metro Manila starting 2 December.
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), around 400,000 most vulnerable families will be affected along the typhoon’s path. The agency currently has total stockpiles of some 300,000 family food packs, including 150,000 in the likely affected regions, and has set aside some US$10 million funds to support humanitarian response. Quick Response Teams, trained on management of evacuation centres, psycho-social support and facilitating child/women friendly spaces, have been alerted for possible deployment.
On Monday, 2 December, OCHA convened the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG) to brief on the typhoon’s likely impact and humanitarian needs in the affected areas. Partners with operational presence on the ground, agreed to share information on damage and needs assessments. The Humanitarian Country Team expressed its operational readiness to support the national government response efforts.