Philippine tropical cyclones

NDRRMC reports 1 death, 1 injury from Ulysses; other agencies count more

JC Gotinga
NDRRMC reports 1 death, 1 injury from Ulysses; other agencies count more

WATER WORLD. Torrential rains from Typhoon Ulysses flood the boundary between Las Piñas and Bacoor cities on November 12, 2020.

Photo by Dennis Abrina/Rappler

The country's nerve center for disaster response has yet to confirm reports of at least a dozen more deaths due to Typhoon Ulysses

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Thursday evening, November 12, reported one death, one injury, and 4 missing persons due to Typhoon Ulysses (Vamco).

These casualties, according to the council’s second situation report on the typhoon, were all from Camarines Norte, one of the first provinces in the Philippines to suffer Ulysses’ onslaught.

However, several other deaths caused by the storm have been reported by other sources from Bicol and other regions, including 3 more in Camarines Norte, and a 60-year-old man in Atok, Benguet. The NDRRMC has, so far, declined to confirm these reports.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has counted at least 13 dead, 20 injured, and 15 missing due to Ulysses. The NDRRMC also declined to confirm these figures.

On Thursday evening, the Office of Civil Defense Region 5 (OCD-5), which covers the Bicol region, reported 5 persons killed due to Ulysses – 4 from Camarines Norte and 1 from Camarines Sur. Another 8 people were injured, and 4 were still missing since the storm hit the region.

The NDRRMC explains disparities in its casualty count with those of other agencies as due to constraints in verifying reports from the ground. Different agencies have, at times, revised their tallies as more information come in from the field.

Typhoon Ulysses affected at least 25,031 people in 273 barangays in the Cagayan Valley, Cordillera, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa regions, the NDRRMC said. Of these, 14,417 people have taken shelter among 245 evacuation centers as of 5 pm on Thursday.

In a media briefing on Thursday afternoon, NDRRMC spokesperson Mark Cashean Timbal said 196,696 people were evacuated ahead of the typhoon across regions spanning the Cagayan Valley to Eastern Visayas.

Meanwhile, OCD-5 reported that 188,987 people were displaced by Ulysses in the Bicol region as of 12 pm on Thursday. Many others people were already in evacuation centers, after Super Typhoon Rolly (Goni) destroyed thousands of houses in the region just over a week ago.

According to the PNP, evacuees across Luzon, Bicol, and Mimaropa numbered 352,509.

A total of 85 municipalities in the Cagayan Valley, Calabarzon, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas regions lost electricity due to Ulysses, but power had been restored in 4 of them as of the NDRRMC’s latest report.

Telecommunication lines were cut in Albay, Masbate, and parts of Camarines Sur due to Ulysses. Other parts of the Bicol region, including the island province of Catanduanes, remain largely without telecoms and electricity following Super Typhoon Rolly.

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The NDRRMC reported that 76 road sections and 30 bridges in Northern Luzon were affected by floods, sludge, landslides, river overflows, or land collapse. Of these, 57 road sections and 26 bridges were impassable.

The PNP, meanwhile, reported 216 roads that were impassable across Luzon, Bicol, and Mimaropa.

A total of 1,632 passengers were stranded at sea ports in Calabarzon, Bicol, and Eastern Visayas, the NDRRMC said. The PNP reported 2,555 people stranded at sea ports in Mimaropa and Bicol.

Search and rescue still on

Search and rescue operations were the priority for disaster responders, with NDRRMC still receiving requests for rescue from different areas that remain flooded.

As several dams and runoff from the Sierra Madre mountains flow into the lowlands, Timbal said the NDRRMC expects “more inundation” in certain areas.

As of Thursday afternoon, a total of 363 search and rescue teams have been deployed by different government agencies, Timbal said.

These teams, according to the NDRRMC, were from the following:

  • Armed Forces of the Philippines: 45 active, 24 on standby
  • Philippine National Police: 250 active, 253 on standby
  • Philippine Coast Guard: 21 active, 5 on standby
  • Bureau of Fire Protection: 43 active
  • Joint task force teams: 5 active

With each team consisting of 5 to 8 personnel, Timbal estimated a total of more than 1,000 rescuers deployed to flooded areas across regions affected by the typhoon.

The PNP however said it deployed 5,807 search and rescue personnel in affected regions, with another 10,953 on standby. –

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JC Gotinga

JC Gotinga often reports about the West Philippine Sea, the communist insurgency, and terrorism as he covers national defense and security for Rappler. He enjoys telling stories about his hometown, Pasig City. JC has worked with Al Jazeera, CNN Philippines, News5, and CBN Asia.