Severe Typhoon Leaves Seven People Dead in the Phillippines

Huge hurricane approaching Southeast Asia. Elements of this image furnished by NASA

At least seven people were killed after a typhoon struck the east coast of the Philippines in late May, lingering over the archipelago for days and causing flooding.

Officials confirmed on May 28 that Typhoon Ewiniar swept the eastern coast starting late on May 24 and lingered over the Philippines for several days before it shifted away from the archipelago. By Tuesday, May 28, all storm warnings for the islands were lifted.

The typhoon’s shift northeast spared the capital city of Manilla. It was last tracked roughly 280 miles east of the Batanes province town of Basco in the north with sustained winds of 81 mph gusting to 99 mph, according to forecasters.

During the deluge that hammered the province of Quezon, at least six people were killed when they either drowned in the flood waters or were struck by fallen trees. In Misamis Oriental province in the south, a seventh person died after a falling tree hit the motorcycle taxi she and her sister were riding to go to school.

Many villages in the path of the typhoon were engulfed by flash flooding, with some low-lying areas in Quezon province’s capital city of Lucena being under as much as eight feet of flood water.

According to Quezon Governor Angelina Tan, the flooding was caused in part by the clogged drainage systems following the especially hot summer season.

Governor Tan said many of the houses in Lucena, including the governor’s home, were damaged by the torrential rains and winds. She said she was among those forced to find shelter elsewhere.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. told reporters on May 28 that over 26,700 people were affected by Typhoon Ewiniar. The typhoon closed down 29 seaports and three airports while power outages plagued six towns and cities.

Marcos, who was on his way to Brunei for a state visit, said relief supplies were in place before the typhoon hit.

The Phillippines is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries as it lies along a region often hit by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and typhoons. On average the country is hit by 20 storms and typhoons each year.

More than 7,300 people were killed or missing after Typhoon Haiyan hit the central Philippines in 2013. The storm flattened villages and displaced over 5 million people.