Storm Vamco batters Vietnam after killing 67 in the Philippines
Storm Vamco causes severe floods and landslides in the central region of Vietnam after leaving 67 people dead and nearly 26 000 houses damaged in the Philippines. Storm Vamco has barrelled into Vietnam, damaging buildings and injuring at least five people after wreaking devastation in the Philippines. The storm made landfall on Sunday morning with winds of up to 90 kilometres per hour, according to media reports, uprooting trees and blowing the roofs off houses and schools. Vamco is the latest in a series of storms that have pummelled Vietman over the past six weeks causing flooding and landslides that have killed at least 159 people and left 70 others missing. Initial reports from the Disaster Management Authority on Sunday said that five people were injured while they were trying to secure their houses. Vamco has weakened since hitting the Philippines as a typhoon with winds of up to 155km/h but state media said it had still caused significant damage, though details were not immediately available. Authorities evacuated nearly 650 000 people from seven coastal provinces to higher and safer ground before the storm hit to try to reduce casualties. Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said he hoped the precautions would minimise the storm's impact. Vamco caused severe damage in the Philippines, causing flooding that affected more than 340 000 people. In Vietnam, weeks of severe weather have damaged or destroyed more than 400 000 homes. Roads and bridges have been washed away, power supplies disrupted and crucial food crops destroyed, leaving at least 150 000 people at immediate risk of food shortages.
Philippine authorities said on Sunday, 15 November 2020 that the death toll had risen to 67, though floodwaters are now receding, giving hope that the worst could be over.
Deadliest storm for Philippines this year
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte flew to Tuguegarao Province to assess the situation in Cagayan Valley region, which was heavily flooded after Typhoon Vamco dumped rain over swathes of the main Luzon island, including the capital, metropolitan Manila.
Twenty-two fatalities were recorded in Cagayan, 17 in southern Luzon, eight in Metro Manila and 20 in two other regions, said Mark Timbal, the disaster management agency spokesman. Twelve people were still missing and nearly 26 000 houses were damaged by Vamco, he said. “This is the worst flooding that we had in the last 45 years,” Cagayan Governor Manuel Mamba said during a briefing with Duterte. “We see that it is worsening every year.”
The accumulated effects of weather disturbances and huge volumes of water from a dam affected thousands of families in Cagayan, some of whom had fled to rooftops to escape two-storey high floods.
Six cyclones hit the Philippines in a span of just four weeks, including Vamco and Super Typhoon Goni, the world's most powerful this year.
But Mamba also lamented about denuded forests in Cagayan, prompting Duterte to order him to curb logging operations in the province. “We always talk about illegal logging and mining but nothing has been done about it,” Duterte said.
Relief and rescue operations continued in Cagayan even as the nearby Magat Dam was still releasing water, two days after releasing a volume equivalent to two Olympic-size pools per second, based on Government data.
Vamco, the 21st cyclone to hit the Philippines this year, also caused the worst flooding in years in parts of the capital.
Source: TRT World