The typhoon was closing in on its second landfall on Wednesday afternoon Eastern time, the storm already having crossed parts of Patnanongan and Polillo Islands in Quezon. The system was moving ashore in the General Nakar region of Quezon, about 40 to 50 miles northeast of Manila.
At the time of landfall, it remained at “peak intensity,” with winds in the Category 2 range. The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), hoisted a Signal 3 warning, on a 1 through 5 scale, for much of Luzon, including the Manila metropolitan area. Winds gusting between 75 and 105 mph were expected.
“Heavy damage to high-risk structures” was forecast by PAGASA, indicating “increasing damage … to old, dilapidated residential structures, and houses of light materials” was likely. Rice, corn and banana plants were anticipated to be heavily damaged.
“Widespread disruption of electrical power and communication services” is also expected.
The southern flank of Vamco’s eyewall could scrape Manila, home to nearly 2 million people, with winds gusting upward of 80 to 90 mph.
The Polillo Islands and Catanduanes, where Goni made landfall earlier this month, were forecast to see a storm surge between seven and 10 feet from Vamco; in Manila, with northwesterly winds piling water up against Luzon’s west coast, a surge between four and six feet was expected.
On Nov. 1, passengers with flights out of Ninoy Aquino International Airport were stranded as Super Typhoon Goni stormed through to the north, while more than 1,300 othersfound themselves forced to ride out the storm in basketball courts, schools and churches. A new bill called on Philippine leaders to erect permanent evacuation sheltersthat could be used in emergencies like Vamco, since many storm shelters had been utilized to treat coronavirus patients.
Vamco is expected to weaken some after its encounter with land before moving west through the South China Sea. It then may maintain strength through Friday local time as it nears central or northern Vietnam as a low-end typhoon or strong tropical storm.