Typhoon Vamco leaves at least 39 dead and 22 missing in the Philippines

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The Typhoon Vamco, which swept the center of the island of Luzon in the early hours of Thursday, has left at least 39 dead, 22 missing and 40 wounded in the Philippines, according to the count of the Armed Forces.

The government’s preliminary count at the moment stands at 14 dead and 14 missing, although the presidential spokesman, Harry Roque, warned at a press conference that the figures will increase as reports of victims.

Thousands of evacuees

Across the country, Vamco enforced evacuation of at least 300,000 peopleAccording to the police, most are in coastal communities or near rivers and dams due to the risk of overflowing.

Vamco is expected to leave the area of ​​responsibility for Philippines on Friday morning, after leaving heavy rains and severe flooding in central Luzon, particularly Manila.

Total devastation

The emergency services They compare the situation in the capital with Typhoon Ketsana in 2009, the most devastating to hit Manila and which killed 464 people across the country, although Vamco hit with stronger winds and rains.

At the eastern end of the city, thousands of families were evacuated because the water submerged about 40,000 homess when the Marikina River reached 22 meters, surpassing the mark of 21.5 that Ketsana left in 2009 – when serious floods occurred in the Marikina district with 78 deaths.

“The situation is overwhelming“admitted the mayor of Marikina, Marcelino Teodoro, who confessed that they did not expect the river to exceed 18 meters.

Vamco, which made landfall Wednesday night on the east coast of Luzon in Quezon province, combed the central area of ​​the island with sustained winds from 155 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 255 km / h and copious rains, according to Pagasa, the national meteorological agency.

Cyclone season

It is the fifth cyclone to hit the country in less than a month, after fifty victims and millionaire damages caused by the last storms.

The Bicol and Calabarzon regions, south of Luzon, were also hit by Vamco while still recovering from the heavy impact of the Typhoon Goni -which left more than 30 dead and missing- and typhoon Molave ​​(26 victims), with accumulated losses in agriculture and infrastructure of about 220 million dollars.

In recent weeks the Philippines has also suffered from severe tropical storm Atsani and tropical storm Etau. After having received 21 cyclones so far this year, Pagasa announced today that the Philippines could still suffer the passage of another four before the end of 2020, a year especially vulnerable to storms due to the impact of the phenomenon known as The girl.

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