Drone footage shows scale of destruction from Typhoon Vamco in the Philippines


More than three dozen people have died amid the torrential rains and massive destruction brought in the Philippines by Typhoon Vamco, locally known as Typhoon Ulysses. 

Police and soldiers are still looking for 22 people who are missing due to the worst flooding caused by a typhoon in years in the capital Manila and nearby provinces, army chief Gilbert Gapay told a news conference.

Vamco is the 8th typhoon to hit the Philippines in the last two months, and the 21st this year. It tore through the main island of Luzon late on Wednesday and early Thursday, just as the country was reeling from Goni, the world’s strongest typhoon of 2020 so far, which itself claimed at least 25 lives and destroyed thousands of homes.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) told local media on Friday that their search teams along with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Bureau of Fire Protection have recovered at least 39 bodies from the areas affected by the typhoon onslaught.  

Two men drowned and a child was killed in a landslide in Camarines province. Three people died when a warehouse collapsed in Cavite province.

Based on the media brief by AFP and PNP,  at least 12 bodies were retrieved from Calabarzon itself while seven died in Cagayan Valley and four in Central Luzon.

However, the figures have not yet been consolidated by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), reported Rappler. It had only confirmed 14 deaths in the earlier briefing.  

Tens of thousands of homes were submerged even as the water levels started receding in parts of the  badly hit Marikina suburb forcing many to take refuge on the rooftops.  

The rescue team have so far helped about 6,000 people in Manila’s suburbs. Government agencies were clearing landslides and debris elsewhere, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said. About 500,000 households in and around the capital are without power, reported Reuters.  

Additional reporting by agencies

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