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Philippine police say Typhoon Vamco death toll at 26 as cleanup begins

Philippine police say Typhoon Vamco death toll at 26 as cleanup begins

Typhoon Vamco made landfall in the Philippines on the night of November 11.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday ordered government agencies to hasten relief efforts after a powerful typhoon killed at least seven people and unleashed some of the worst flooding in years in the capital Manila. Philippine National Police said more than 100,000 people had been rescued, including 41,000 in the capital region.

Flooding on the largest island, Luzon, caused landslides, cut off roads and forced many to flee their homes. "Mud is so thick up to the second floor", Gilbert Gaston, a Marikina resident, told DZMM radio.

At least four people are reported missing, the disaster management agency said.

Vamco has now weakened, with sustained winds of 130 kilometres (81 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 215 kph (133.59 mph) as it moves across Luzon, home to half of the Philippines' 108 million people.

Coast guards had to swim in flood waters as high as electricity poles, while rescue workers used rubber boats and makeshift floats to carry children and the elderly to safety.

Floodwaters receded and the weather cleared in many areas after Typhoon Vamco blew out into the South China Sea on Friday, but the military said it was still rescuing people trapped in some flooded communities. The panic was exacerbated by widespread power outages and loss of internet access.

Mayor Teodoro claimed that the city government has already evacuated 5,000 families but the massive floods have actually fully or partially submerged approximately 40,000 houses.

It is particularly affected by climate change with many people living in coastal areas that are vulnerable to storm surges engorged by rising seas and severe flooding. That's foolishness coming from the opposition.

Metro Manila, Batangas, Bulacan, Cavite and Laguna might have their electricity back by November 15, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi told presidential spokesman Harry L. Roque at a separate news briefing.

Officials said almost 3 million households in and around Manila are without power and that about 40,000 homes were completely or partially submerged in water in the Marikina area.

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. Tens of thousands of people remain displaced.