• On November 1, Super Typhoon Goni struck the Philippines with sustained winds of 140 mph and gusts as high as 195 mph. Goni was followed by Typhoon Vamco, which hit the country on November 11, with sustained winds of 100 mph and gusts up to 130 mph.
• Combined, the typhoons killed at least 100 people, with more than 20 still missing.
• Super Typhoon Goni displaced at least 400,000 people.
• Flooding from Typhoon Vamco led to the rescue of more than 370,000 individuals by the armed forces and national police.
• The typhoons caused more than $775 million in damages in the Philippines.
On November 1 and November 11, the Philippines were struck by Super Typhoon Goni and Typhoon Vamco, respectively. These back-to-back storms caused widespread flooding and property damage, and are likely to cause an increased spread of COVID-19 due to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of individuals.
Super Typhoon Goni was the strongest typhoon this year and the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines since Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Goni’s violent winds and torrential rains blew away roofs, toppled structures and caused severe flooding and landslides throughout the Bicol Region—including Albay province, which is home to the active Mayon Volcano, where lahar deposits on its slopes liquefied into mudflows and buried at least 300 houses in Guinobatan. Between flooding, wind damage and landslides, it is believed that Super Typhoon Goni damaged or destroyed 270,000 homes.
Though Typhoon Vamco was not as powerful as Goni, it greatly affected the capital city of Manila and the entire island of Luzon, with much of the city and several municipalities in the provinces of Rizal, Laguna, Batangas, Quezon, Bulacan, Pampanga, Cagayan Valley and Isabela left under floodwaters. In addition to flooding, Vamco caused landslides, downed trees and destroyed or damaged buildings. Adding more complexity to the situation is the fact that many of the areas affected by these storms were still recovering from several typhoons that hit the country in October.
Combined, the typhoons killed at least 100 people, with some still missing. Goni left at least 400,000 displaced from their homes. During Vamco, flooding in Manila and other areas of the main island of Luzon led the military and national police to rescue thousands. There is great concern that overcrowding in evacuation centers, lack of PPE and lack of access to proper sanitation and hygiene infrastructure and supplies will lead to a significant spread of COVID-19 on the island of Luzon. There are reports of damaged sanitation systems in some evacuation centers, leading to open defecation, which significantly increases the risk of several serious illnesses.