Typhoon Goni, known locally as Rolly, is a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 215 km/h (133 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 265 km/h (164 mph). It is set to land on Sunday with the strongest typhoon hitting the Philippines since Haiyan killed more than 6,300 people in November 2013.
Pre-evacuation has begun in coastal and landslide-prone communities in the provinces of Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, and the Albay state government will order residents in dangerous areas to leave their homes, local disaster official Gremil Naz told DZBB Radio. station.
Authorities face another hurdle as shelters must be imposed social distancing to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The Philippines is the second-largest country in Southeast Asia after Indonesia with COVID-19 infections and deaths.
Relief supplies, heavy equipment and personal protective equipment have already been deployed in key areas, Filipino Grace America, Mayor of the town of Infanta in Quezon province, told DZBB Radio. “But with the Covid-19 pandemic, we don’t have enough funding for disaster concerns and costs,” she said.
Local officials canceled port operations and banned fishermen from departing.
Typhoon Goni, traveling 20 km/h (12 mph) west of the Pacific Ocean, will have intense rains in the capital and nearby 14 states on Saturday evenings and will be a threat to floods and landslides.
Another typhoon Atsani is gaining power outside the Philippines. Every year, about 20 typhoons hit the Philippines.