At least 16 people are reported to have died after Typhoon Goni made landfall on Catanduanes island as a super typhoon on Sunday, November 1. Reportedly, some 70,000 people in the municipality of Virac have been badly affected by Goni, which has since been downgraded to a tropical storm. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced due to the storm, although Manila was largely unaffected. At least six people are reported to have died across Catanduanes, where there is no access to electricity, water, or a cellular network following the storm. The region's airport and seaports suffered little damage. A further ten people died in Albay province, and more than 300 homes were buried under debris; several people are thought to have been buried alive. The entire Bicol region is reportedly without electricity, and in Quezon province, power supplies were cut in ten towns after the typhoon toppled trees.
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.
Residual disruptions to transport, utilities, and businesses are expected 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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