Posted on

Typhoon strikes Philippines


SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Typhoon strikes Philippines

Social Share
Share

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – One of the strongest storms on record slammed into the central Philippines today, killing at least four people, forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes and knocking out power and communications in several provinces.
But the nation appeared to avoid a major disaster because the rapidly moving typhoon blew away before wreaking more damage, officials said.
Typhoon Haiyan raced across a string of islands from east to west – Samar, Leyte, Cebu and Panay – and lashed beach communities. Nearly 750 000 people were forced to flee their homes.
Weather officials said Haiyan had sustained winds of 235 kilometres per hour (kph) or 147 miles per hour with gusts of 275 kph when it made landfall. By those measurements, Haiyan would be comparable to a strong Category 4 hurricane, knocking on the door of the top category, a five.
Hurricanes, cyclones and typhoons are the same thing. They are just called different names in different parts of the world.
Because of cut-off communications in the Philippines, it was impossible to know the full extent of casualties and damage. At least two people were electrocuted in storm-related accidents, one person was killed by a fallen tree and another was struck by lightning, official reports said.
Southern Leyte Governor Roger Mercado said the typhoon triggered landslides that blocked roads, uprooted trees and ripped roofs off houses around his residence.
The dense clouds and heavy rains made the day seem almost as dark as night, he said.
“When you’re faced with such a scenario, you can only pray, and pray and pray,” Mercado told The Associated Press by telephone, adding that mayors in the province had not called in to report any major damage.
“I hope that means they were spared and not the other way around,” he said. “My worst fear is there will be massive loss of lives and property.”
Eduardo del Rosario, head of the disaster response agency, said a powerful typhoon that also hit the central Philippines in 1990 killed 508 people and left 246 missing, but this time authorities had ordered pre-emptive evacuation and other measures to minimize casualties.

LAST NEWS