Fifth storm in three weeks leaves Filipinos trapped in houses, on roofs

Fifth storm in three weeks leaves Filipinos trapped in houses, on roofs

A woman and a child walk on debris in Manila, Philippines, Nov. 13, 2020, after flooding caused by Typhoon Vamco. Five tropical storms or typhoons have hit the Philippines in a three-week period, including the strongest typhoon since 2013 and the biggest floods since 2009. (Credit: Lisa Marie David/Reuters via CNS.)

Filipinos appealed for help as a fifth tropical storm or typhoon hit their country in a three-week period. These included the strongest typhoon since 2013 and the biggest floods since 2009.

MANILA, Philippines — Filipinos appealed for help as a fifth tropical storm or typhoon hit their country in a three-week period. These included the strongest typhoon since 2013 and the biggest floods since 2009.

The latest, Typhoon Vamco — or Ulysses as it is known in Philippines — left at least 42 dead and 20 missing. Rescue workers said Nov. 13 they were still trying to reach people trapped in their houses, even after the storm blew out to sea.

In eastern metropolitan Manila, water in the Marikina River rose to 72 feet, surpassing Typhoon Ketsana, which left 671 dead in 2009, the United Nations reported.

Ucanews.com said Jesuits in the Philippines have appealed for material and spiritual support for victims of Vamco; many residents in Marikina City took refuge on the rooftops of their homes to await rescue.

Ucanews.com reported Typhoon Vamco also brought misery to other areas still trying to recover from Super Typhoon Goni, which struck Nov. 1. That typhoon was the strongest since Haiyan, which hit in 2013.

Aid agencies such as Caritas and its U.S. partner, Catholic Relief Services, were already helping people from Goni. Agencies said the main needs were for food, shelter, health assistance and mental health and psychosocial support.

Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro also issued an appeal for help, reported ucanews.com.

“Local authorities in Marikina City cannot conduct rescue efforts alone. Given the weather, we need air support. People are on their rooftops waiting to be rescued,” Teodoro told reporters.

He said many buildings had been submerged and that Marikina City required aid from the national government.

“We are overwhelmed by the amount of need and rescue operations to be conducted. … The water current on the main roads was just too strong for rescue boats. Our city hall, where we stock our resources and supplied, is also flooded,” Teodoro added.

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