Philippines Hit by Series of Typhoons in Early November
Emmanuel Son, Staff Writer
In less than two weeks, the Philippines has been hit by two different typhoons. Typhoon Goni, known as Roli in the Philippines, hit the first week of November starting on the 1st (a Holy Day of Obligation where many Filipinos remember their deceased loved ones). The storm destroyed over 300 homes and caused a number of mudslides from the Mayon Volcano in the Bicol region. The Washington Post has titled this typhoon as “2020’s Strongest Storm on Earth.” As a result, over 10 have died, including a 5 year old child who was swept away with three others missing, according to CNN. With winds being up to 195 m.p.h., this has been labeled the worst typhoon in the Philippines since 2013’s typhoon Haiyan, according to the Weather Channel.
The storm hit many coastal towns and regions including the province of Quezon and the city of the Batangas before hitting southern China as it began to weaken. As a result, Manilla’s airport was shut down with airlines cancelling and delaying a number of flights. Other transportation services that were put on halt included train services as well as a no-sail rule imposed by the Coast Guard. Public shelters capacity had also been limited and difficult to run as COVID-19 restrictions are still in place. The country currently has the second most number of cases in southeast Asia at 383,000 just behind Indonesia. The typhoon had damaged 80-90 percent of the city’s buildings. Over 300,000 residents are without homes. Goni’s strength is expected to decrease by the time it reaches southern China but will most likely bring heavy floods to the area in Vietnam.
The country was hit again recently with another typhoon (Vamco) which resulted in seven deaths and over 100,000 in the evacuation process. The storm was mostly prominent in the country’s capital Manilla which happened to cause the worst floods in years. Winds had reached up to 96 m.p.h. with gusts up to 158 m.p.h. Wind speeds were equivalent to a category 2 hurricane in the United States according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.
President Rodrigo Duterte had cut short a virtual meeting between Southeast Asian leaders in order to assess all damages. Most deaths came from the island of Luzon, which also happens to be the most populated island in the country. According to Usnews.com, among those killed were those who drowned, an elderly man crushed by a falling tree, and workers inside a warehouse as it collapsed. Some other areas struck include those who are still recovering from Goni.
A spokesperson for the government’s response agency had stated that 363 rescue teams had already been deployed. One team will consist of 1,000 rescuers as with 40 rubber life rafts The storm had affected a number of towns and cities. Vamco is soon to hit Vietnam with heavy rains and flooding.