Manila: Last week’s onslaught of typhoon Rammasun in the Philippines has left 94 people dead and 317 injured as the country prepares for the arrival of a new weather disturbance, Matmo.
Sixty seven people who died due to Rammasun (Glenda) were in the Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon Region while the rest were in Central Luzon (8), Bicol (6), Mimaropa (5), Eastern Visayas (5) National Capital Region 2 and Western Visayas (1).
Quezon suffered the most fatalities among the most battered provinces. The causes for the deaths were mostly getting pinned down by trees felled by the strong winds or getting hit by debris such as falling coconuts and collapsed concrete walls.
Quezon is a region where most of the country’s coconut plantations are located. In this particular province alone, there were 26 fatalities.
Rammasun brought in powerful 150km/h winds that not only uprooted trees and destroyed infrastructure, but also caused massive power outages. At one point 90 per cent of Metro Manila’s estimated 25 million people were without electrical power, causing untold misery to millions and making immediate restoration of public services difficult.
In a Sunday interview aired over government-run dzRB radio, Presidential Communications Operations Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said the total damage to infrastructure and agriculture by Rammasun was estimated at to P7.6 billion (Dh640 million).
The cost includes the damage to public buildings, infrastructures, schools and agriculture.
As officials continue to account for the damages caused by Rammasun, Coloma said the Philippines is preparing for the arrival of another typhoon Matmo known locally as Henry.
“The new typhoon will have winds reaching 120km/h at the centre and gusts of 150km/h. It will bring heavy rains to Eastern Samar, the island of Siargao and the province of Surigao del Norte,” said Coloma.
According to the Philippine Atmosheric, Geophysical and Astronomic Services Administration (Pagasa) the new typhoon is not expected to make a landfall in any part of the country although its presence would boost the southwest monsoons.
“Residents in these areas are advised to be alert against possible flashfloods and landslides.”
Matmo is estimated to bring moderate to heavy rainfall within the 500km diameter of the typhoon.
Billions of pesos are lost every year due to typhoons and other weather disturbance.
The most destructive weather disturbance so far in recent years was typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), which arrived on November 8, 2013 and cost the lives of some 6,300 people. Most of the fatalities were in the coastal areas of Eastern, as well as Western Visayas.