Death toll rises to 46 as TD Vinta nears Philippines, TS Kai-Tak threatens Vietnam, Malaysia

Death toll rises to 46 as TD Vinta nears Philippines, TS Kai-Tak threatens Vietnam, Malaysia

The death toll in the Philippines caused by heavy rain, floods and landslides produced by Tropical Cyclone "Kai-Tak" (Urduja) rose to 46 on Thursday, December 20, 2017. 28 people are still missing.

Meanwhile, another tropical system has organized into a tropical depression and was named Vinta by PAGASA. Landfall is expected between Caraga - Davao Region on Thursday, December 21) evening to Friday, December 22 morning. 

Kai-Tak emerged over the warm waters of South China Sea and is now threatening southern Vietnam, southern Thailand and northern Malaysia with flooding rainfall.

Slow-moving Kai-Tak dropped over 1 000 m (39.4 inches) of rain on parts of Visayas, the Philippines over the past couple of days, causing deadly floods and landslides. The death toll on Thursday rose to 46, up from 42 on Wednesday, while the number of missing dropped from 34 to 28.

Many of missing are feared buried by mud avalanches that struck Biliran, the National Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said. "The retrieval operations are still ongoing but we are not finding anyone alive. We only find dead bodies," Sofronio Dacillo, a disaster monitoring officer said.

The NDRRMC reported that more than 1 million people (244 121 families) from 1 669 barangays were affected by Urduja’s widespread flooding and landslides in MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Bicol, Western, Eastern and Central Visayas and Caraga.

Of these affected families, 28 959 families or 100,169 persons have been forced to leave their houses to stay in 381 evacuation centers, while 17 577 families or 47 791 persons are staying with relatives.

Tropical Storm Kai-Tak December 20, 2017

Tropical Storm "Kai-Tak" December 20, 2017. Credit: NASA Aqua/MODIS

Tropical Storm Kai-Tak JTWC forecast track on December 20, 2017

Kai-Tak emerged over the warm waters of South China Sea on December 19 and reintensified into a tropical storm again. It is now moving between Vietnam and Borneo threatening the region with flooding rain.

Heavy rain is expected across southern Vietnam, southern Thailand and northern Malaysia in the days ahead. There is a potential for up to 200 mm (8 inches) of rain in places, despite the fact that Kai-Tak will considerably weaken by the time it reaches the coast of Malaysia on December 23.

Tropical Depression "Vinta"

Meanwhile, another tropical system, known as Vinta in the Philippines, is approaching the country and expected to make landfall late December 21 / early December 22.

Tropical Depression Vinta - Philippines, December 20, 2017 Scattered to widespread rains is expected over Eastern Visayas and Eastern Mindanao within the next 24 hours, PAGASA warns.

Residents of these areas must undertake appropriate measures against flooding and landslides and coordinate with their respective local government and disaster risk reduction and management offices, the agency said.

Fisherfolks and those with small seacrafts are advised not to venture out over the seaboards of Eastern Mindanao due to the moderate to rough seas associated with the approaching Tropical Depression.

Landfall is expected between Caraga - Davao Region on Thursday, December 21 evening to Friday, December 22 morning.

Provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Compostela Valley, and Davao del Norte might be included in the Tropical Cyclone Warning Number 1.

Featured image: Tropical Storm "Kai-Tak" at 12:30 UTC on December 20, 2017. Credit: UW-CIMSS

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