Vietnam braces for Typhoon Vamco while Philippine villages remain underwater

Vietnam braces for Typhoon Vamco while Philippine villages remain underwater

Nov. 14 (UPI) — At least 42 people are dead in the Philippines after Typhoon Vamco slammed the nation this week, causing severe flooding and a power outage for millions in Manila, and Vietnamese authorities have ordered 460,000 people to prepare for evacuation as the storm approaches.

The third typhoon and fifth tropical cyclone to hit the region in recent weeks dumped continuous rain and wind on the Philippines Wednesday and Thursday, with waters reaching two stories high.

Whole villages remained underwater Saturday, stranding people who flooded social media with pleas for assistance.

The pandemic has made relief efforts particularly difficult, with displaced people crowding evacuation centers and with travel restrictions likely hampering aid and media access.

Vamco followed Typhoon Goni, which hit in early November and was the strongest typhoon so far this year but narrowly missed the Manila region.

Typhoons are estimated to have cost the Philippines an estimated $207 million in damages to crops.

Video aired by Vietnamese television showed high waves slamming into Ly Son island, about 15 miles from shore, Saturday afternoon, and about 1,000 people on the island were forced to move to shelters further inland.

Authorities in other parts of Vietnam have worked to reinforce sea dikes and evacuate seniors and children to safe buildings in order to avoid casualties from the typhoon, and the country has shut down five airports and suspended train operations throughout the region.

Vietnam has also been heavily affected by this year’s storm season, having been hit by seven tropical storms and typhoons and weathering an estimated $740,000 in damage.

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