Philippine typhoon toll hits 54 as floods shift downstream – ‘Our rice farm looked like it was run over by a giant flat iron’Posted by Jim at Thursday, October 22, 2015
22 October 2015 (AFP) – The death toll from a ferocious typhoon in the Philippines climbed to 54 on Thursday, as home-wrecking floods shifted downstream to coastal villages, displacing tens of thousands of residents.
Inundations from torrential weekend rains in mountain regions caused by Typhoon Koppu cascaded into coastal fishing and farming villages, submerging them in waters up to three metres (10 feet) deep, officials said.
Residents of Bulacan and Pampanga province, around two hours' drive from the capital Manila, fled by foot to evacuation centres as the waters rose quickly overnight, aggravated by a high tide, they said.
"The waters have nowhere else to go. Imagine two to three days worth of rain from the mountains coming down," Nigel Lontoc, assistant director of the region's civil defence office, told AFP.
Close to 60,000 people left their homes in Bulacan and Pampanga, a geographic catch basin for waters from the upland provinces of Nueva Ecija and Aurora, which bore the brunt of Koppu on Sunday and Monday.
Lontoc said the floods in the coastal areas may last a week.
Koppu made landfall on the east coast of Luzon, the Philippines' biggest and most populated island, early Sunday with 210-kilometre (130-mile) per hour winds.
Koppu, the second strongest typhoon to hit the disaster-weary country this year, then crawled over vast swathes of Luzon for three days, bringing torrential rains that triggered landslides and massive flooding.
A report from the national disaster monitoring office said close to 500,000 people had been displaced by flooding. [more]
21 October 2015 (Weather.com) – The death toll from Typhoon Koppu has climbed to at least 48 people since the storm made landfall in the Philippines Sunday morning, local time. Although the heavy rain threat is over, runoff from earlier in the week continues to pose a flood danger for many parts of the country and rain continues to fall.
"Although what's left of the system is moving slowly away from the northern Philippines, light to moderate rain is still falling in some areas," says weather.com senior meteorologist Nick Wiltgen.
Koppu was downgraded to a remnant area of low pressure Wednesday morning local time, but the Philippine government is warning citizens that the flooding from the storm will persist for days.
Massive rainfall totals have been reported in the northern Philippines, where water has flowed down the mountains and into villages, the BBC reported. The floods left many residents stranded on the roofs of their homes, awaiting rescue, the report added.
As of Wednesday evening, more than 100,000 people are still in evacuation centers, reports the Philippines National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. […]
In Casiguran, Aurora province, where the storm made landfall, virtually all of the buildings and infrastructure sustained damage, according to Rappler. Officials said two other nearby towns, Dinalungan and Dilasag, were cut off from the outside world. Tuesday evening, the Philippine government confirmed one death in Dinalungan, saying 26-year-old Armando de Leon died of multiple injuries due to falling debris Sunday. […]
Another man was killed by a landslide Sunday when he went to check on his farm in the mountain town of Bakud in Benguet province, the NDRRMC said. Two other men drowned in Nueva Ecija, the report added. […]
The AP reported that 65,000 villagers have been displaced in the typhoon's path, including in towns prone to flash floods and landslides. […]
As of Wednesday evening, at least four landslides have occured in the Ilocos region and the Cordillera Administrative Region, Philippine officials report. […]
In areas where farming is a way of life, Koppu has been devastating for crops. Vice Mayor Henry Velarde of Nueva Ecija's Jaen town was briefed on the damage and told the AP via telephone that the fields are in bad shape.
"Our rice farms looked like it was ran over by a giant flat iron," he said. "All the rice stalks were flattened in one direction."
Residents were forced to flee the storm while leaving their poultry and other farm animals behind, in many instances. Much of the area's rice crops, which were expected to be harvested in a few weeks, have been destroyed.
Erwin Jacinto, a resident of Nueva Ecija's Santa Rosa town, told the AP that his farmland has been reduced to "nothing but mud" as Koppu continues to pound the area. […]
There have been power outages, downed trees and flattened crops in some of the top rice-producing areas of the country, according to World Vision teams in Luzon.
“We woke up early this morning to strong rain and howling winds. Already there are uprooted trees blocking roads,” said Joy Maluyo, emergency communications officer for World Vision. “In farm fields, the rice stalks are supposed to be ready for harvest next week. Unfortunately now, they’re drowned in water. Farmers are worried all their efforts are now wasted.”
The NDRRMC reported complete power outages in 9 provinces, potentially affecting more than nine million people - equal to nearly 10 percent of the entire population of the Philippines and nearly 20 percent of the population of Luzon. [more]