Super typhoon cygnus hits the Philippines, authorities warn of a “catastrophic” situation that is expected to cause the most damage in the area, and nearly a million people have been evacuated.
The strongest typhoon to date landed on Catan Duanes Island at 4:50 a.m. (2050 GMT on Saturday), with a maximum sustained wind speed of 225 km/h (140 miles), weather forecasters said.
Over the next 12 hours, it is said that “violent violent winds and intense heavy rain” will occur in the Bicol region, which covers the southern ends of the main islands Luzon and Catanduanes.
“This is a particularly dangerous situation in this area.”
Goni, which was intensified by a “super” typhoon as it approached the Philippines, occurs a week after typhoon Morav hit the same area of the archipelago, prone to natural disasters.
The storm killed 22 people and flooded lowland villages and farmland before crossing the South China Sea to Vietnam.
Mark Timbal, spokesman for the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Board, told local broadcaster ABS-CBN on Saturday that “we will have a really strong wind and increase the likelihood of widespread floods and landslides.”
“A storm surge is imminent on the east coast. We are monitoring the Mayon and Taal volcanoes for possible volcanic mud flows.”
Civil Defense Director Ricardo Jalad said “nearly a million” people left their homes in the Bicol area.
Authorities sent rescue vehicles, emergency response teams, and relief supplies to marshall before the storm on Saturday.
There was a “high risk” of potentially life-threatening storm surges above 3 meters (10 feet) high along parts of the coast and warned that low-lying areas could be flooded.
Storm surges of up to 3 meters are also expected in the coastal areas of the capital Manila.
-Covid complicates evacuation-
Since the start of the Corona 19 epidemic, empty schools have been used as emergency shelters, just like government-run shelters and gymnasiums.
“It’s harder to evacuate people right now because of Covid-19,” said Alexis Naz, a spokesman for civil defense in the Bicol region.
Mary Ann Echague, 23, and her family left their home in the coastal city of Legazpi, went to an inland elementary school, where they took refuge in classrooms with several other families.
“We are afraid of the rage of the typhoon,” said Echague, who was with her two children, parents and siblings. They carried a portable stove, canned meat, instant noodles, coffee, bread, blankets and pillows.
“Because our house is made with a wooden and galvanized iron roof, every time a typhoon hits the house, it is damaged,” she said.
“We’ve always managed. We find a way to get through.”
Hundreds of people were stranded after the Coast Guard ordered ferries and fishing boats to port in anticipation of the rough waters spewing 16 meters of waves.
The swan is expected to weaken as it crosses southern Luzon and enters the South China Sea early Monday.
The Philippines has an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year, leading to the loss of harvests, housing and infrastructure, and millions of people continue to be poor.
The deadliest on record was Super Typhoon Haiyan, which caused huge waves in the central city of Tacloban, killing or missing more than 7,300 people in 2013.