At least four people are reported to have died after typhoon Goni (known locally as Rolly) crossed the main Philippine island of Luzon on Sunday, November 1. Goni made landfall as a super typhoon over Catanduanes Island at 04:50 (local time) on Sunday and brought winds of up to 225 kph (140 mph) and torrential rainfall to many parts of Luzon. The four deaths are all reported to have occurred in Albay province in Bicol region, where storm surges and heavy rain caused flooding, landslides, and disruptions to power and communications. Power outages were also reported in towns across Quezon province as Goni moved west across southern Luzon. The storm system passed over Batangas province late afternoon on Sunday, south of Metro Manila, before heading into the South China Sea on Sunday evening. Many ports, airports, and public transport services across Luzon have suspended operations during the passing of the storm. Although Goni weakened on making landfall, further reports of damage and casualties are likely in the coming hours and days as the extent of the destruction caused by the storm becomes clearer.
Goni comes a week after Typhoon Molave, which followed a path similar to that predicted for Goni and killed 22 people in the provinces south of Manila. Another tropical storm, Atsani, is building strength to the east of the Philippines and is expected to affect the north of Luzon island.
The remnants of the storm will bring strong winds and further rain to south-western parts of Luzon through the night and residual disruptions to transport, utilities, and businesses are expected across many parts of Luzon over the coming days.
Tropical depressions, storms, and typhoons typically hit Eastern Visayas as well as Southern, Central, and Northern Luzon during the typhoon season between June and November. However, a number of storm systems in the past years have also affected Central and Western Visayas, as well as eastern, northern, central, and western Mindanao, and have reached the country outside the typhoon season. Local meteorologists attribute these changes to climate change. In general, approximately 19 storms and typhoons enter the country's area of responsibility every year, and PAGASA reports that at least six weather systems make a direct landfall.
These storm systems have the potential to unleash heavy downpours and powerful winds, as well as trigger a major storm surge that pose considerable hazards to human life and infrastructure. Despite a credible risk, the Philippines has inadequate preparedness and crisis response that increases the impact of storm systems on human communities, strategic infrastructure as well as travel and service delivery.
Those in affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate transportation disruptions, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, including evacuation orders. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters.
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