God Have Mercy on the Philippines!

Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco), the Philippines’ 21st tropical cyclone for 2020, began bashing Luzon on November 11, 2020. Typhoon Vamco, the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane, is the third typhoon and fifth tropical cyclone to affect the Philippines in less than three weeks.

Still reeling from Super Typhoon (Goni), Bicol was the first to face Ulysses’ wrath, as the typhoon triggered massive floods in parts of the region.

Ulysses then battered Calabarzon, Central Luzon, and Metro Manila, unleashing powerful winds and torrential rain that left neighborhoods submerged and people appealing for aid and rescue.

According to the reports, some 85,000 people remain displaced in the provinces affected by Typhoon Rolly. At least 25 people have died and more than 390 have been injured while six people remain missing in the aftermath of the typhoon.

While the affected areas continue to reel from the consequences of Typhoon Goni and three preceding cyclones in October, another strong typhoon has further hampered response efforts and caused further destruction. Typhoon Vamco/Ulysses lashed the main island of Luzon on 11-12 November, whipping destructive winds and dumping torrential rainfall over a wide area, triggering extensive flooding in several areas, including Metro Manila, and which has led to further displacement and increased the hardship of vulnerable people. Heavy rains affected the Bicol provinces where flooding incidents were reported in 37 municipalities. Catanduanes, which was the worst-hit province by Typhoon Goni, experienced flash floods and landslides.

Tens of thousands of homes in low-lying suburbs of the national capital were submerged in roof-level floods, trapping residents in their rooftops while awaiting rescue. In Marikina City, 41,000 houses were either partially or fully submerged, and that all 47 evacuations centers in the city are full, with some evacuees seeking temporary shelter in nearby homes. The death toll from Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco) is now at 67, with 21 others injured and 12 missing. The rains also caused high turbidity of the water in Ipo Dam in Bulacan, leading to service interruptions as the concessionaire reduced the production in its water treatment plants. Nearly two million households were also without electricity as high winds toppled power lines.

So far, all SCJs in the Luzon area are safe trying to extend their help to the people affected by the calamity.