Super Typhoon Nears Philippines With 170 M.P.H. Winds
MANILA — A powerful typhoon bearing 170-mile-an-hour winds churned its way toward the northern Philippines on Friday, as thousands of people evacuated their homes in addition to stockpiled emergency supplies in frantic preparation for the possibility of a major disaster.
Super Typhoon Mangkhut, the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, was anticipated to make landfall on the northern island of Luzon early Saturday morning with an intensity not seen since Typhoon Haiyan swept across the central Philippines in 2013, killing more than 6,000 people. Heavy rainfall in addition to whipping winds were already being reported on the island’s eastern coast.
The completely new storm is usually on track to hit a less densely populated, less vulnerable area than the one in which was ravaged by Haiyan. Still, government officials, hoping to avoid anything like in which storm’s devastation, pleaded with vulnerable residents to move to shelters, fearing drenching rains in addition to devastating mudslides along the island’s mountainous coastlines.
Luzon is usually the Philippines’ largest in addition to most populous island, however the northern tip, where the typhoon was anticipated to pass, is usually largely agricultural in addition to is usually known as the country’s breadbasket. More than four million people live inside area in which is usually likely to be most affected by the storm.
Officials warned of severe flooding in addition to extremely high winds, with rainfall of as much as six to 10 inches in certain areas. Mindful of the chaos in which followed Haiyan, the government deployed emergency teams, communications systems in addition to supplies, including food in addition to water, to the threatened area.
Storm surges as high as 20 feet were expected, in addition to officials warned fishermen in addition to owners of modest boats against taking out their craft.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines called on churches throughout the predominantly Catholic country to recite a prayer for deliverance coming from calamities.
The eye of the storm was about 150 miles offshore inside Pacific Ocean at 4:30 p.m. local time on Friday in addition to was moving steadily toward Luzon at about 12.5 miles per hour.
If the typhoon sticks to its current course, the idea will first hit the Sierra Madre. With peaks as high as 6,000 feet, the mountain range serves as a barrier for typhoons coming from the Pacific in addition to can be anticipated to slow the storm down.
coming from there, the storm’s course might take the idea over the Cagayan Valley, one of the country’s largest agricultural regions in addition to a major producer of rice, corn in addition to vegetables. Heavy flooding or some other damage could cripple the country’s food supply. The Philippines’ benchmark stock index was the worst performer in Asia on Friday, as investors feared the storm might exacerbate inflationary pressures inside country.
The first large Cagayan Valley community in its path is usually Peñablanca, a town of about 50,000 people.
coming from Cagayan Valley, the typhoon, known as Ompong inside Philippines, is usually anticipated to reach the Cordillera mountains, an even wider in addition to taller range with one peak of more than 9,500 feet.
If the mountains do not alter its course, the typhoon is usually projected to pass over Laoag City, with about 100,000 people, in Ilocos Norte Province, before leaving the Philippines in addition to heading toward Hong Kong, southern China in addition to northern Vietnam.
All told, the idea will traverse a distance of roughly 0 miles over Luzon if the idea sticks to its projected path.
Throughout the region, thousands of people took shelter in temporary evacuation centers, fortifying their homes by placing wood over the windows in addition to stockpiling emergency food, water in addition to medical supplies.
Aid groups such as Oxfam in addition to Save the Children Philippines, which both have experience in Philippine disaster relief efforts, were also preparing to provide assistance.
Rhona Daoang, a spokeswoman for the Ilocos Norte provincial government, said the idea was taking measures to prevent widespread loss of life.
Officials were distributing rice in addition to drinking water to residents ahead of the storm in addition to encouraging them to fortify their homes or evacuate. The province expects about 5,000 people to take refuge in shelters.
The province also set up eight shelters for cows, goats in addition to some other livestock so farmers might not have to face the choice of leaving them behind or staying in addition to jeopardizing their own safety.
The governor of the province, Imee R. Marcos, temporarily outlawed drinking while the typhoon threat looms. During a heavy storm last month, one man who was drunk drowned.
“The governor also declared a liquor ban to ensure in which we could minimize the casualties,” Ms. Daoang said. “Some don’t like the idea, however some agree.”
Sol Vanzi contributed reporting.