Philippines: Typhoon Koppu DREF operation n° MDRPH019 - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA), 21 October 2015


A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Typhoon Koppu (locally known as Lando) made landfall over the town of Casiguran, Aurora province (around to 350 km northeast of Manila), on Sunday 18 October 2015 as an equivalent of category 3 cyclone, packing maximum sustained winds of 185 km/h near the centre and gusts of up to 220 km/h. After landfall, the typhoon has been skirting the northern part of Luzon Island, moving at a slow speed of 5 kph and bringing heavy rains within its 600-kilometre diameter.

According to state weather bureau, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Koppu has since weakened into a tropical storm and its centre was estimated at 120 km West of Calayan, Cagayan, as at 12:00h local time Tuesday 20 October 2015; public storm warning signals (PSWS) remained in place for at least 12 areas, with Abra, Apayao, Batanes, Northern Cagayan (including Calayan and Babuyan group of islands), Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur under PSWS #2.

Major rivers in North and Central Luzon are swollen due to the ongoing rains. However, PAGASA has described the rains as beneficial to major reservoirs since water level in key dams has increased significantly amid a water supply problem that was caused by the current El Nino phenomenon.

Several of the affected areas have reported 2-3 feet of floods, with more areas expected to be inundated as rainwater collected in the mountains starts to move downstream. Particular bad flooding has been reported in provinces of Cagayan, Isabella, Nueva Ecija and Pampanga. Some roads are still impassable in the affected areas due to flooding or road/bridge damage. Province-wide power outages still remain in Apayao, Aurora, Kalinga, Nueva Vizcaya, and Quirino. In the towns of Dinalungan, Casiguran and Dilasag, communications lines are still disrupted.

A total of 290,797 people (60,170 families) have been most affected in regions I, II, III, IV-A, V and CAR, according to National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) update issued on 20 October 2015 morning. Of these, 23,993, people (5,426 families) were pre-emptively evacuated and serviced in 376 evacuation centres. So far, 12 deaths and seven injured have been confirmed while 1,693 houses are reported to have been damaged.

As soon as the system entered PAR on 14 October 2015, NDRRMC convened its first pre-disaster risk assessment (PDRA) meeting to discuss preparedness measures. The disaster agency has since held daily meetings, in which the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) has participated and UN OCHA has represented the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), to coordinate the national response. NDRRMC went on red alert since noon of 16 October; prior to landfall council member agencies report to the NDRRMC operations centre 24/7 to monitor the status and development of the system while regional, provincial and local disaster risk reduction management offices in affected areas activated their emergency operations centres.

After the typhoon’s landfall, NDRRMC activated its first responders and search and rescue teams from various agencies, including military assets, to support evacuation of families and provide immediate assistance. According to its assessments, NDRRMC foresees that food items, non-food items and emergency shelter items among the priority needs. At this point, no international support is being requested as the situation and response is deemed to be within the capacity of the authorities and local agencies, including PRC.