Typhoon slams into the Philippines, forcing a risky evacuation for tens of thousands of people during the pandemic.
Tropical Storm Saudel has lashed the Philippines, causing flooding and thousands of residents to evacuate, officials said on Wednesday, with the storm now heading for Vietnam where more than 100 people have already died in weeks of bad weather.
The region has suffered particularly heavy rainfall amid the onset of a La Niña weather system, a phenomenon characterised by unusually cold temperatures in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
In Quezon province, southeast of the Philippines’s capital Manila, photographs showed widespread flooding and boats being used to ferry residents to dry ground.
“The rainfall coincided with La Niña and the high tide. That is a big problem,” Quezon Governor Danilo Suarez told broadcaster CNN Philippines.
A waist-deep flood had made the main road in Quezon province impassable for vehicles, Suarez said.
As Tropical Storm #Saudel pulls away from the #Philippines, residents of flood-weary #Vietnam are being put on alert for potential impacts later this week: https://t.co/SwJGkK1OGI pic.twitter.com/D4s8ixh9LX
— AccuWeather (@breakingweather) October 21, 2020
Nearly 6,000 people were evacuated in the provinces south of Manila as of Tuesday night, disaster agency data showed, although there were no reports of casualties.
Bad weather in some areas northeast of Manila had started to clear, with floods receding, Elson Egargue, a disaster official in Aurora province told DZMM radio station.
The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands and 107 million people, is battered by roughly 20 tropical storms annually, with Saudel being the 16th this year.
Vietnam is now in Saudel’s path with the storm expected to hit the country at full strength when it reaches the Paracels Islands in the South China Sea, the country’s disaster agency said, adding that the death toll from weeks-long floods and landslides had risen to 111, with 22 still missing.