The Philippines was hit by a twin typhoon on Sunday–one of which considered the strongest for the year–claiming the lives of seven people amid the global pandemic that has been plaguing global economies.
On Sunday, the state weather bureau Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in a bulletin past 12 noon that Typhoon Rolly, with an international name Goni, entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on the same day at 4:50 a.m. It packed maximum sustained winds of 225 kilometers per hour.
Rolly made landfall on Catanduanes island and developed into a super typhoon. It was considered the most powerful storm for this year.
Seven people—including a five-year-old child in the province of Albay, were reportedly killed. Two were said to have drowned, another was swept away by volcanic mud, and another killed by a falling tree.
PAGASA placed several provinces under Signal No. 5 such as Catanduanes, Albay, and the eastern portion of Camarines Sur namely Caramoan, Presentacion, Garchitorena, Lagonoy, Tinambac, Calabanga, Siruma, Tigaon, Bombon, Magarao, Camaligan, Gainza, Canaman, Milaor, Naga City, Minalabac, Balatan, Bula, Pili, Ocampo, Goa, San Jose, Sagnay, Buhi, Iriga City, Baao, Nabua, Bato.
Meanwhile, Metro Manila, the Philippines’ largest region, was placed under Signal No. 4 along with neighboring areas such as the Bicol region and Southern Luzon.
Meanwhile, another typhoon with an international name Atsani entered PAR at 8 a.m. just when Rolly weakened from a super typhoon into a typhoon. It was given a local name Siony, and was the country’s 19th tropical cyclone for the year.
President missing in action?
Frustrated Filipinos took their frustrations to social media to air their sentiments towards the president amid his lack of presence or action hours after Rolly’s landfall.
A hashtag #NasaanAngPangulo (#WhereIsThePresident?) trended on Twitter.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s former aide and now-Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go said that the country’s leader was monitoring the typhoon in his hometown in Mindanao.
As of this writing, Duterte was yet to address the nation about the government’s preparedness and response plan for the affected individuals.