Almost 1 million people evacuated from Philippines as world's strongest typhoon of 2020 nears

Via AP
Via AP

In the southern part of the main island of Luzon in the Philippines, officials have evacuated almost a million residents as a category five storm, this year's strongest in the world, makes landfall on Sunday.

Typhoon Goni will bring violent winds and heavy rains, with 215 kph of sustained winds and gusts of up to 265 kph, state weather and disaster officials said.

Since Haiyan, which killed more than 6,300 people in 2013, it is among the strongest typhoons that have hit the Philippines.

We're having a hard time with COVID-19, and then another disaster is coming, "said Senator Christopher Go, President Rodrigo Duterte 's top assistant, at a virtual news conference."

Local managers should ensure that in evacuation centers the virus does not spread, he said.

Pre-emptive evacuations have been initiated by officials, with the province of Albay bringing 794,000 residents to safety, Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the national disaster agency, told a news conference.

Approximately 1,000 COVID-19 patients housed in large isolation tents could be transferred to hotels and hospitals in the capital of Manila and nearby Bulacan Province, Mr. Jalad said.

With 380,729 cases and 7,221 deaths, the Philippines has the second-highest COVID-19 infections and deaths in South-East Asia, next only to Indonesia.

Typhoon Molave killed 22 people last week, mostly by drowning in the provinces south of Manila, which is also on the projected Goni path, the country's 18th tropical storm this year.

Port operations were canceled by local officials and fishers were barred from setting sail. Dozens of flights were canceled by airlines.

Early on Sunday (local time), Typhoon Goni, moving westward from the Pacific Ocean, will bring intense rains over the capital and 21 adjacent provinces and threats of floods and landslides.

Another typhoon, Atsani, is gaining strength just outside the Philippines with 55 kph sustained winds and gusts of up to 70 kph.

The Philippines is hit annually by an average of 20 typhoons, which bring heavy rains that trigger deadly landslides.

Publish : 2020-11-01 10:55:00

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