As world’s strongest 2020 typhoon approaches, Philippines orders evacuation

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

Philippine officials on Saturday ordered the evacuation of thousands of residents in the southern part of the main Luzon island as a category 5 storm that is the world’s strongest this year approaches the Southeast Asian nation.

Read more: Amount of plastic dumped in Mediterranean Sea to double in 20 years: Report

Typhoon Goni, with 215 kph (133 miles) sustained winds and gusts of up to 265 kph (164 mph), will make landfall on Sunday as the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines since Haiyan that killed more than 6,300 people in 2013.

Pre-emptive evacuations have started in coastal and landslide-prone communities in the provinces of Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, while Albay provincial government would order residents in risky areas to leave their homes, Gremil Naz, a local disaster official, told DZBB radio station. “The strength of this typhoon is no joke.”

Typhoon Molave last week killed 22 people, mostly through drowning in provinces south of the capital Manila, which is also in the projected path of Goni, the 18th tropical storm in the country.

Authorities are facing another hurdle as social distancing needs to be imposed in evacuation centers to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Read more: Coronavirus: Philippines’ Duterte recommends gasoline for disinfecting face masks

The Philippines has the second highest COVID-19 infections and deaths in Southeast Asia, next only to Indonesia.

A man driving a bike amid Typhoon Molave in Pampanga province, northern Philippines, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (AP)
A man driving a bike amid Typhoon Molave in Pampanga province, northern Philippines, Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (AP)

Relief goods, heavy machinery and personal protective equipment are already positioned in key areas, Filipino Grace America, mayor of Infanta town in Quezon province, told DZBB radio.

“But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, our funds for calamity concerns and expenses are insufficient.”

Local officials canceled port operations and barred fishers from setting sail.

Typhoon Goni, moving westward at 20 kph (12 mph) from the Pacific Ocean, will bring intense rains over the capital and 14 provinces nearby on Saturday evening, and threats of floods and landslides.

Another typhoon, Atsani, is gaining strength just outside the Philippines. Around 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year.

Read more:

Coronavirus spreads more extensively in households than previously thought: Study

Tunisia to probe Mahdi Organization for links to Nice attack, says state media

Clashes at Lebanon’s capital Beirut as people protest French cartoons of the Prophet

Top Content Trending