Pepeng (2009) Floods and Landslides in Northern Luzon

September – October 2009


Typhoon Pepeng (international name, Parma), was the second typhoon that affected the Philippines within the span of a week in September 2009. It entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility days after Tropical Storm Ondoy (International Name Ketsana) wreaked havoc on the country. Although Pepeng did not extend its fury to Metro Manila where Ondoy recently did, it still added to the damage caused by the earlier typhoon and lashed out at the northern part of Luzon Island. Pepeng affected thousands of families in the north, especially in Pangasinan province where the San Roque Dam released water to prevent it from being overtopped, causing floodwaters to inundate several areas in the province. In the province of Benguet, with a population of 403,944 (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2012), multiple landslides triggered by the typhoon killed at least 200 across different municipalities in the province, including Baguio City (ABS-CBN, 2009).

The extent of the flood in Pangasinan after the onslaught of Typhoon Pepeng in 2009. (Source: bulatlat.com)

The extent of the flood in Pangasinan after the onslaught of Typhoon Pepeng in 2009. (Source: bulatlat.com)

Soldiers guide people to safety as floodwaters rose in Rosales, Pangasinan, in 2009. (Photo by Edwin Bacasmas)

Soldiers guide people to safety as floodwaters rose in Rosales, Pangasinan, in 2009. (Photo by Edwin Bacasmas)

However, in the first week of October, Pepeng interacted with the incoming Typhoon Quedan (international name, Melor) on the Pacific as it was heading towards Southern Taiwan. Days later, though significantly weakened, Pepeng recurved to Luzon making further landfall in Ilocos Norte and Cagayan. It again gained its strength as it crossed Luzon Island for the second time. Though it retreated to emerge towards the South China Sea and eventually became a tropical depression, Pepeng still became one of the deadliest typhoons that hit the country in a span of a decade. On October 5, 2009, reports showed 14 confirmed fatalities – 12 in Cordillera Region due to landslide and 2 in Cagayan Valley. Reports also showed that more than 14,000 families in Regions 1, 2, 3, 5, CAR, and NCR were displaced and affected, some were rendered homeless. Initial estimates on damages caused by Pepeng reached up to 800 million. In their final tally, the NDRRMC reported 465 casualties from Typhoon Pepeng due to landslide and flooding hazards and caused more than 27 billion pesos in damages (NDRRMC, 2009).

Workers clear away landslide debris after the onslaught of Pepeng. (Source: Kat Palasi)

Workers clear away landslide debris after the onslaught of Pepeng. (Source: Kat Palasi)

The impact of the Pepeng landslides as responders conduct search and rescue operations. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)

The impact of the Pepeng landslides as responders conduct search and rescue operations. (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Clearing operations in Tadian, Mountain Province after Pepeng. (Source: sega.sagada.org)

Clearing operations in Tadian, Mountain Province after Pepeng. (Source: sega.sagada.org)


ABS-CBN. (2009). (UPDATE) 150 people feared dead in Benguet.
http://news.abs-cbn.com/nation/10/09/09/100-reported-killed-cordillera-landslides

Cardinoza, G. (2015). Learning from ‘Pepeng’. Philippine Daily Inquirer.
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/728513/learning-from-pepeng

NDRRMC. (2009). Final Report on Tropical Storm Ondoy (Ketsana) and Pepeng (Parma).
http://www.ndrrmc.gov.ph/attachments/article/92/Narrative_Report_re_Tropical_Storm_Ondoy_(KETSANA)_and_Typhoon_Pepeng_(PARMA)_2009.pdf

Philippine Statistics Authority. (2012). 2010 Census of Population and Housing.
https://psa.gov.ph/sites/default/files/attachments/hsd/pressrelease/Central%20Luzon.pdf

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