Violeta and Winnie (2004) Debris Flows in Dingalan, Aurora and Infanta, Quezon

14 November – 3 December 2004


From 14 November to 3 December 2004, four consecutive typhoons devastated coastal towns across Luzon and the Visayas. Typhoon Mufia, Tropical Storm Merbok, Tropical Depression Winnie, and Super Typhoon Nanmadol affected at least 2.3M people, incurred infrastructure and agricultural damages amounting to Php 4.6B, and caused at least 1,200 fatalities (Pierce and Lang, 2004; Espaldon et al., 2008).

Located along the eastern coast of Luzon, Barangay Paltic in Dingalan, Aurora was swept away and buried by debris flows triggered along the Subsob and Paltic rivers by continuous heavy rains from typhoon Merbok on 22-23 November and typhoon Winnie on 29-30 November. In Dingalan, floods, shallow landslides, and debris flows incurred a total of Php 134.47M in damages, totally devastated 985 houses and partially damaged 898, affected at least eleven barangays composed of 18,600 people and 4,020 families, and caused 135 fatalities with 56 missing, and 104 injured (MDCCOCa, 2005; MDCCOCb, 2005).

Debris flow along Subsob River Dingalan, Aurora (Dr. R. Quebral et al)

Debris flow along Subsob River, Dingalan, Aurora (Dr. R. Quebral et al)

In Quezon province, typhoon Winnie also caused floods and triggered multiple landslides that were transformed to debris flows along the main tributary of the Agos River, burying the towns of General Nakar and Infanta. Winnie formed east of Central Luzon on 27 November before it moved west-northwestward over southeastern Luzon on 29 November. Delivering 342 mm of rainfall over a 9-hour period in Infanta, the event incurred a combined 207.5M damages in agriculture, livestock, and fisheries, affected 16 barangays composed of 12,007 families, totally damaged 4,256 houses, partially damaged 3,674, and washed out 1,592, and caused 176 casualties with 53 missing, and 11 injured (David and Felizardo, 2005; Espaldon et al., 2008). The rain gauge in the PAGASA Infanta station was submerged by flood and was no longer able to measure the amount of rainfall.

Aftermath of the debris flow in Infanta, Quezon which brought mud, timber and other debris. (Source: Rappler)

Aftermath of the debris flow in Infanta, Quezon which brought mud, timber and other debris. (Source: Rappler)


David, R. V., & Felizardo, J. C. (2005). Alternative Local Disaster Countermeasures for Agos River, Infanta, Quezon. Tech. rep., Department of Public Works and Highways, Manila, Philippines.

Espaldon, M. V., Yue, L., Shrestha, A., & Ha, D. T. (2008). Assessing vulnerability of communities and understanding policy implications of adaptation responses to flood-related landslides in Asia. Tech. rep., Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research.

MDCCOC. (2005a). Situation Report From the 4 Typhoons. Tech. rep., Municipality of Dingalan, Aurora.

MDCCOC. (2005b). Report of Casualties & Partially/Totally Blown Down Houses (Typhoon Violeta and Winnie). Tech. rep., Municipality of Dingalan, Aurora.

Pierce, H., & Lang, S. (2004, December). Floods in Philippines: Natural Hazards. Floods in Philippines: Natural Hazards.

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