Typhoon Vamco causes severe damage in Luzon, Philippines

Typhoon Vamco causes severe damage in Luzon, Philippines

The typhoon triggered record-high rainfall so that massive floods paralyzed nearly all of Manila the following day, Thursday (12/11). Rescue of residents was carried out in several cities in the capital city. Tens of thousands of people reportedly attempted to row out of the flood in rubber boats, small motorboats, canoes and even jet skis.

The Civil Defense Office in the Bicol region reported at least one person as dead and three as missing. The country's weather agency forecast two to three more typhoons will enter the Philippines in November and another one to two in December.

A man retrieves items from a roof, following floods caused by Typhoon Vamco, in San Mateo, Rizal province, Philippines, Thursday (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)
A man retrieves items from a roof, following floods caused by Typhoon Vamco, in San Mateo, Rizal province, Philippines, Thursday (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

In Marikina City and Rizal province, residents fled to the upper floors of their homes when floods rose rapidly. The 78-kilometre long river overflowed causing massive flooding.

"We are overwhelmed by the magnitude of the flood we are experiencing right now. We are preparing for a worst-case scenario," Mayor Marikina Marcelino Teodoro told DZBB radio station as quoted by the Straits Times page, Thursday.

Teodoro has received reports from several residents on the roof of their house since early Thursday morning already suffering from hypothermia. "Many are scared," he said.

He begged the country's civil defence forces to send helicopters to help with the rescue. According to city reports, up to 40,000 houses are left underwater, and the town only has 50 rubber boats to deliver.

This typhoon is called the Vamco Cyclone, which is known locally as Ulysses. The typhoon hit around 10:30 p.m. in the city of Patnanungan in Quezon province, 130 kilometres east of the capital Manila. The typhoon hit with wind speeds of up to 150 km/h and a maximum gust of 205 km / h.

The typhoon was not considered particularly alarming as it has been classified as a tropical storm for most of its journey across the Pacific. But the typhoon quickly gathered strength as it approached the east coast of Luzon and then rolled just 60 kilometres north of Manila en route to the South China Sea.

From late Wednesday to noon on Thursday, strong winds and heavy rain hit Metro Manila. As of Thursday morning, most of the metropolis, home to some 13 million people, was under waist-deep in flood. Trees, electric poles and a myriad of rubble littered the road. The main highway is impassable. Nearly four million people suffer from prolonged blackouts. Teodoro said Vamco controlled Marikina, which was always prone to flooding because of its proximity to the river.

Typhoon Vamco, following Typhoon Goni, was one of the strongest to hit the Philippines in years with wind speeds exceeding 300 km/hr. Goni is expected to destroy Metro Manila and its southern region. At least 26 people died, and nearly a million people were displaced. But by the end of the day, most passed through Metro Manila with no casualties reported there.

Vamco now evokes memories of Typhoon Ketsana. That typhoon in 2009 killed 246 people, triggered widespread flooding in Metro Manila due to month-long rains in 24 hours, and overwhelmed rescue services.

Source :,

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