Typhoon Kammuri makes landfall as a Category-3 typhoon near Sorsogon province
Late evening on 2 December, Typhoon Kammuri (locally named Tisoy) made landfall as a Category 3 typhoon near the city of Gubat in Sorsogon province, where maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour were recorded. On 3 December, the eye of the typhoon carried sustained winds of up to 175 kph hour and gustiness of up to 240 kph as the system moved westward picking up speed and making further landfalls across central Philippines, in Masbate, Marinduque and Oriental Mindoro. Typhoon Kammuri is forecasted to exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), veering south into the South China Sea, by the morning of 5 December.
The combination of high winds, sustained heavy rainfall and storm surge is expected to have impacted vulnerable communities across a wide swathe of territory from northern Samar to southern parts of Metro Manila. Early reports indicate damaged and destroyed houses in at least four regions, interruption of power supplies and telecommunication in over 200 areas, and flooding in Western Visayas, Bicol region and Calabarzon, just south of Metro Manila. Air travel was severely affected as all four terminals at the Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) were closed for 12 hours, resulting in cancellation of over 500 domestic and international flights. The terminal at Legazpi city airport was heavily damaged though the local authorities are working to restore operations. Initial assessments indicate some 4,000 houses were partially and totally damaged in areas of Sorsogon where the typhoon made initial landfall. Further reports on the extent of damage are expected in the coming days as power and connectivity are restored.
According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the government is now supporting over 495,000 people (123,000 families) in need of assistance, of which over 458,000 (114,000 families) are temporarily displaced and staying in evacuation centres. In Bicol region alone, over 432,000 are displaced and seeking shelter inside the evacuation centres, mainly in Albay province, Camarines Sur and Sorsogon. In most towns of Albay province, including Legazpi city, piped water supply is unavailable due to absence of electric power and flooding.
On 3 December, Typhoon Kammuri affected schooling of almost 15 million learners as more than 860 municipalities/cities cancelled classes in public and private schools at all levels, including Metro Manila. Schooling of many learners will be further affected since 100 schools are currently being used as evacuation centres. UNICEF estimates some 300,000 children living in affected areas may be at risk and in need of assistance.
According to the Department of Agriculture, the initial estimate of losses caused by Typhoon Kammuri to the agriculture sector is some US$10 million (PhP532 million), while affecting lives and income of some 40,000 farmers. With early harvest of crops in several areas anticipated to be on the path of the typhoon, greater damage was to a large extent prevented. Nevertheless, 14,600 hectares of land in Calabarzon and Bicol Region is affected, with an estimated production loss of some 18,500 metric tons. According to initial assessments from humanitarian partners on the ground, food availability will be a concern due to damaged crops and the fact that affected fishermen cannot sail because of rough seas. Partners are already reporting of a knock-on effect this may have on family dynamics, particularly for women who are now additionally burdened by finding food for the family, while simultaneously being responsible for taking care of children and elderly.