Environment

At least 50 killed in floods and landslides caused by Tropical Depression “Usman”



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Tropical Depression “Usman” dropped heavy rain over parts of the Philippines over the weekend, causing floods and landslides in which at least 50 people were killed. Usman made landfall in Borongan, Eastern Samar on December 29 and has since weakened into a low-pressure area. Rains, however, are still spreading through eastern and central provinces.

According to data provided by the PAGASA on December 30, Usman dropped large amounts of rainfall on parts of Luzon and the Visayas. Up to a month’s worth of rainfall was recorded in some areas in just two days.

Tropical Depression “Usman” on December 29, 2018. Credit: NASA/NOAA Suomi NPP/VIIRS

The weather station in Daet, Camarines Norte registered 573.2 mm (22.56 inches) of rain in 48 hours ending December 29. Normal December rainfall for this area is 588 mm (23.14 inches).

During the same period, Legazpi City, Albay recorded 460.1 mm (18.11 inches); normal December rainfall for the city is 520.2 mm (20.48 inches). Catarman, Northern Samar registered 446.8 mm (17.59 inches); normal December rainfall there is 628.2 mm (24.73 inches). Albat, Quezon recorded 430.7 mm (16.95 inches); normal December rainfall there is 636.6 mm (25.06 inches). Virac, Catanduanes recorded 384.1 mm (15.12 inches); normal rainfall there is 451.8 mm (17.78 inches). 

According to the latest official reports released 16:30 LT, December 30, at least 50 people were killed, most of them in Albay and Camarines Sur. 17 people still remain missing and the death toll is expected to rise.

Landslides displaced more than 22 000 people in 6 worst affected provinces, according to the regional civil defense office.

All photos courtesy PNP Bicol regional command

The low pressure area which used to be TD Usman and the tail-end of a cold front are still bringing heavy rain on December 30 while landslides are affecting residents in the provinces of Albay, Catanduanes, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, and Camarines Norte.

Featured image: Floods in Libon town, Albay on December 30, 2018. Credit: PNP Bicol regional command



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