The number of deaths in the Philippines from Typhoon Vamco has increased to 26, police said on Friday, after the storm brought strong winds and heavy rain to the capital Manila and nearby provinces and damaged tens of thousands of homes.
Vamco, the 21st cyclone to hit the country this year, also left 14 people missing and 25 injured after tearing through the main island of Luzon in recent days, police data showed.
The number of accidents is subject to verification by the National Disaster Management Agency.
Typhoon Vamco passed north of Manila between the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga, knocking down trees and knocking out power. Officials said earlier that nearly 200,000 people had been evacuated, some by force, from vulnerable coastal and low-lying areas.
Officials said about 1.9 million households were without power in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. Many power poles were knocked down, power lines were cut and transformers were damaged.
President Rodrigo Duterte took a break from an online summit with Southeast Asian leaders to fly a helicopter over the affected areas.
“As President, I guarantee you that your government will do its utmost to provide assistance in the form of protection, aids, financial support and post-disaster advice. Make sure the government does not leave anyone behind. We will get through this crisis, Duterte said in a TV address.
Rescue teams were deployed to flooded areas in Rizal province, the Coast Guard chief said. George Ursabia to DZBB Radio.
Marikina Mayor Marcie Teodoro said strong winds knocked down power lines overnight, leaving many areas without power and Internet service. Heavy rains also flooded many areas and the Marikina River was swollen. Many people in the city of Marikina were waiting to be rescued from the roof.
“There are many areas that historically do not get flooded but now they are flooded, like the town hall,” he told DZBB-radio.
Mark Timbal, a spokesman for the government’s disaster response agency, said 363 rescue teams had been deployed consisting of 1,000 rescuers with at least 40 rubber boats.
The typhoon had a maximum prolonged wind of 130 kilometers per hour (80 mph) with stronger gusts on Thursday morning. It was moving west-northwest at 30 km / h and was heading for the South China Sea.
The government’s main disaster inspection agency had asked the media to pass on typhoon warnings in northeastern areas destroyed by a former typhoon, Goni, and said the agency’s messages could not be sent by mobile phones due to damaged telecommunications systems.
Goni, one of the strongest typhoons in the world this year, left more than 30 people dead or missing and damaged or destroyed more than 270,000 houses, many in coastal villages. Tens of thousands of people remain displaced.
The Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons and tropical storms each year. It is located on the Pacific Ocean “Ring of Fire”, where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common, making it one of the world’s most catastrophic countries.
( Jowharwith REUTERS and AP)