Millions of people in the Philippines, Cambodia and Vietnam have been evacuated to overcrowded shelters with no means of social distancing. Officials are expecting more outbreaks of Covid-19 to add to the damage of lives already altered due to massive flooding, mudslides, and violent winds.
Strongest Storm of 2020 hits the Philippines
When tropical depression Ofel made landfall and moved across the Philippines on October 14, stronger storms followed and hit the area within two weeks.
Tropical Storm Saudel (local name Pepito) made landfall on October 21, causing flooding in the town of Lopez, Quezon. Four days later, Typhoon Molave (local name Quinta) brought heavy rains and maximum sustained winds of 130km/h (80 mph), causing massive flood damage to the island of Mindoro.
As people from Quezon and Mindoro were recovering, Typhoon Goni (local name Rolly) came along on November 1 and intensified to a Category 5 Super Typhoon with maximum sustained winds of 225km/h (139 mph) and gusts of up to 280km/h (173 mph).
Local authorities say the storm could be compared to Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 6,500 dead in 2013. Storm surges by Typhoon Goni destroyed thousands of homes in Catanduanes, submerged towns in Albay with lahar, and affected more than 1.4 million people throughout six different provinces.
“Super Typhoon Goni was an exceptionally strong typhoon that ripped through communities already affected by recent typhoons and COVID-19,” says Tom Pignon, ADRA’s country director in the Philippines. “While the people of the Philippines are incredibly resilient, we cannot underestimate the compounded impact of these multiple disasters. ADRA is already on the ground working with local authorities and our partners to assess the needs and determine how best to support those whose lives have been torn apart.”