Typhoon to Keep Philippine Capital Shut as Flood Cripples Cities
(Bloomberg) -- The Philippines will keep most government offices shut in the capital region and in nearby provinces, with the currency and bond markets to remain close Friday after widespread flooding from Typhoon Vamco submerged homes and paralyzed transportation. At least seven people died.
Rescue teams have been deployed and aid will reach those in need, President Rodrigo Duterte said in televised remarks Thursday. “The government will not leave anybody behind,” he said.
Government work unrelated to health and disaster response as well as classes in public schools will remain suspended in areas hit hard by the storm, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement. There will be no foreign exchange and bond trading in Manila on Friday, Bankers Association of the Philippines managing director Benjamin Castillo said.
Mayor Marcelino Teodoro of Marikina, a city in Metro Manila that’s prone to flooding when a nearby river overflows, said about 40,000 homes were fully or partially submerged. Gates of several dams in Luzon have been opened, while several river basins are on flood watch, the Philippine weather bureau said.
Violent winds overnight ripped roofs off houses and toppled trees, cutting power to 2.5 million homes as Typhoon Vamco -- called Ulysses locally -- made landfall Wednesday evening in Quezon province and traversed the rest of Luzon island. Stock, bond and currency markets were shut Thursday.
The 21st storm to hit the Philippines this year, Vamco has weakened as it moves over the South China Sea, with winds as fast as 120 kilometers (75 miles) per hour near the center and gusts as strong as 150 kilometers per hour, according to the local weather bureau.
The typhoon is forecast to exit Philippine territory Friday morning, and could intensify as it heads for Vietnam.
Two elderly men were found dead in Camarines Norte province, where four others are missing, authorities said. Three people were killed and three others were hurt after a wall of a warehouse collapsed in Cavite province, ABS-CBN reported. Almost 190,000 people have fled their homes in the Bicol region of Luzon, which is still reeling from recent storms.
An average of 20 typhoons pass through the Philippines each year, which can complicate the nation’s fight against the coronavirus as thousands of people are evacuated from storm-hit areas.
In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,300 in the Southeast Asian nation. In 2009, Typhoon Ketsana killed more than 400 people and caused 11 billion pesos ($227 million) of damage to infrastructure and agriculture after dumping a month’s worth of rain within six hours.
Vamco lashed regions already battered about two weeks ago by Super Typhoon Goni, which killed at least 25 people and caused 18 billion pesos in damage. In remarks Thursday to a Southeast Asian leaders’ summit, Duterte said recent typhoons “left a trail of destruction” that sets back the nation’s development.
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