By Charmaine A. Tadalan, Reporter and Angelica Y. Yang
Typhoon Vamco killed at least 14 and hurt eight other people after submerging many parts of Luzon island, including the capital region, and left half-a-million people without electricity.
At least three people were still missing, according to the local disaster agency.
Six of those who died came from the Cagayan Valley region, five from the Bicol region and one from the Cordillera Administrative Region, Office of Civil Defense Administrator Ricardo B. Jalad told an online news briefing.
The storm, locally named Ulysses, made landfall in Quezon province on Wednesday and crossed Central Luzon, according to the local weather bureau.
It weakened into a severe tropical storm over the South China Sea, but strengthened into a typhoon just as it left the Philippine area of responsibility, it added.
Mr. Jalad said more than 100,000 families had fled, including 64,552 families or 231,312 people whom local governments had evacuated before the typhoon came. Most of the came from the Ilocos region, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimamropa, Bicol region and Eastern Visayas.
“With the rescue operations conducted, an additional 44,194 families or 170,000 individuals were evacuated,” Mr. Jalad said. These came from Metro Manila, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol and the Cordillera Administrative region.
The agency monitored 105 areas that experienced flooding, eight landslides and two sea incidents.
Almost 500,000 customers of Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) still did not have electricity on Friday morning, the company said in a statement.
The affected customers were located in parts of Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Rizal, Laguna and the Quezon Province.
While linemen have already been dispatched to affected areas,restoration work might take longer in areas with heavy flooding, Meralco spokesman Joe R. Zaldarriaga told an online news briefing.
Power restoration in areas where the distribution utility’s facilities sustained heavy damage might take awhile, he added.
Metro Manila, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna might have their electricity back by Nov. 15, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi told presidential spokesman Harry L. Roque at a separate news briefing.
The National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) in an advisory said eight 69-kilovolt (kV) transmission lines in Luzon were still unavailable as of 11 a.m. on Friday.