Former Tropical Depression Usman has brought heavy rain to Luzon and the Visayas in recent days, with consequent flooding and landslides leaving at least 50 people dead in Bicol region as of Sunday, December 30. Authorities have declared states of calamity in the provinces of Camarines Sur, Albay, and Sorsogon. At least 17 people remained missing in the area as of Sunday evening (local time) amid continuing rescue operations.
Lingering transportation disruptions (e.g. due to road obstructions) are to be expected in the affected areas. Though the remnants of Usman are forecast to leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Monday, December 31, more forecast rainfall may lead to further flooding and landslides in Bicol region over the coming hours and days and complicate relief efforts.
Tropical cyclones and typhoons are common in the western Pacific from May to November. Usman is the 21st tropical cyclone to hit the Philippines in 2018.
Individuals in the Philippines, particularly those in Bicol region, are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation and power disruptions, confirm flight reservations, obey instructions issued by the local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders), and avoid flood-prone areas until the situation stabilizes. Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.
Copyright and Disclaimer