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Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 23:01
1 killed, thousands evacuated as Typhoon Vamco nears Philippines
By Xinhua
Wednesday, November 11, 2020, 23:01 By Xinhua

A motorist rides along a street amidst strong winds in Legazpi City, Albay province, Philippines, on Nov 11, 2020, ahead of Typhoon Vamco's landfall in the region. (CHARISM SAYAT / AFP)

MANILA - At least one person has died and three people were missing as Typhoon Vamco blew closer to the southern provinces of the Philippines' main island of Luzon on Wednesday with destructive winds and torrential rain, officials have said.

The Office of Civil Defense, the state disaster management body, said that so far one has been killed while three fishermen were reported missing in Camarines Norte province, southeast of Manila.

PAGASA, the state weather bureau, said Typhoon Vamco was packing sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 195 kph

Television footage showed that many areas in Luzon were flooded due to Typhoon Vamco, the 21st typhoon to hit the Philippines this year.

ALSO READ: World's strongest typhoon pummels Philippines, killing four

The local media also reported a landslide in Albay province and rockslide in Catanduanes, an island province in the Bicol region barrelled by Super Typhoon Goni early this month.

Mayor Joseling Aguas of Sto. Domingo town in the province of Albay province, in the Bicol region, said the rain from the recent typhoons had caused soil and rock to cascade down and blocked the road leading to four villages.

A motorist rides along a street amidst strong winds in Legazpi City, Albay province, Philippines, on Nov 11, 2020. (CHARISM SAYAT / AFP)

Typhoon Vamco comes as relief workers scramble to help hungry villagers rendered homeless by Goni.

The Philippines has evacuated thousands in the coastal villages due to possible storm surge and flash floods

The Philippines has evacuated thousands in the coastal villages due to possible storm surge and flash floods.

READ MORE: 13 missing as Typhoon Molave batters Philippines

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the state weather bureau, said Typhoon Vamco was packing sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 195 kph.

Philippine officials urged people to be vigilant, warning the typhoon would bring "destructive winds and intense with at times torrential rainfall" in vast areas in Luzon, including Metro Manila, the Bicol region, the provinces of Aurora and Quezon, and parts of Eastern Samar province in the central Philippines.

A man walks past tents set up at a school which has been converted into an evacuation center as authorities prepare for Typhoon Vamco, in Manila, Philippines, on Nov 11, 2020. (AARON FAVILA / AP)

Vamco continues to move westward at 15 kph, the bureau said in its latest bulletin.

It was forecast to make landfall in Polillo Island in Quezon province on Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

Typhoon Vamco comes 11 days after Super Typhoon Goni, one of the strongest typhoons to hit the country this year, left a trail of destruction and killed at least 22.

Vamco is set to pummel the same areas battered by Goni.

READ MORE: Contact restored with Philippine province hit by typhoon; 16 dead

Three other typhoons had hit the Philippines after Goni.

Workers climb aboard a truck for a free ride as rain caused by Typhoon Vamco starts to pour in Quezon city, Philippines, on Nov 11, 2020. (AARON FAVILA / AP)

Typhoons and tropical storms regularly hit the Philippines from June through December, claiming hundreds of lives and cause billions of dollars in damages.

Located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, the Philippines is among the most disaster-prone countries in the world, including active volcanoes, frequent earthquakes, and an average of 20 typhoons a year, causing floods and landslides.

The Philippines lost 463 billion pesos (roughly US$9.56 billion) in damages to natural disasters from 2010 to 2019, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.

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