Philippines: Typhoon Phanfone - Information Bulletin

The situation

According to the Philippines Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) Typhoon Phanfone (known locally as Typhoon Ursula) made landfall at 4:45 PM (local time) on Tuesday, 24 December 2019, in Salcedo, Eastern Samar.

PAGASA1 reports that Phanfone made landfall with maximum winds of 120 kilometers per hour (km/h) and gustiness of up to 150 km/h.

PAGASA issued Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal (TCWS) signals as early warning. PAGASA warned that areas under Signal No. 3 will begin to experience destructive typhoon-force winds and "high-risk structures may experience heavy damage." There are concerns that the weather system could cause damage in communities across Visayas, which have already been badly affected by Tropical Storm Kammuri that crossed some of the same areas in November 2019 (MDRPH037) and Tropical Storm Usman (January 2019, MDRPH030).

Strong winds, and storm surges are expected, and rainfall can cause flooding and trigger landslides, resulting in casualties, as well as damages to crops livelihoods, livestock, infrastructure and housing. There are reports of rough sea conditions along the eastern seaboards of the Philippines. Seas will also be rough in the inland waters of Southern Luzon and the Visayas and in the western seaboards of Southern Luzon on Wednesday afternoon.

Maritime trips had been canceled as early as Monday, 23 December 2019. As of 4.00 am (local time) on Tuesday, the Philippine Coast Guard said it has recorded a total of 16,649 stranded passengers in Bicol, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Southern Tagalog, Northern Mindanao,
Western Mindanao, and Southern Visayas. There are canceled flights for Tuesday and Wednesday as well.

Based on its latest forecast track, Typhoon Phanfone is expected to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility late Friday, 27 December or early Saturday, 28 December 2019.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has also been issuing advisory warnings3 . The NDRRMC will start to issue Situational Reports for Response Actions and Effects for Ursula based on reports from local government units.

The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) has reported that 1.7 million people will be exposed to a Category 1 or higher typhoon and has issued an “Orange Alert” rating of 1.5, predicting a possible “Medium” level of humanitarian impact.