Typhoon alert sounded in Philippines
Millions of people in the Philippines were on high alert on Wednesday, with authorities warning of one of the strongest typhoons to ever hit the disaster-battered country.
Super Typhoon Haima was forecast to hit remote communities in the far north of the country around 11:00 pm (local time), bringing winds almost on a par with catastrophic Super Typhoon Haiyan that claimed more than 7,350 lives in 2013.
“It’s not just heavy rain and strong winds that we are expecting. It’s also floods, landslides and storm surges in coastal areas. Those in these areas, you are in danger. Find safer ground,” Allan Tabel, chief of the interior ministry’s disaster and information coordinating centre, told a nationally televised briefing.
With Haima having a weather band of 800 km (500 miles), more than 10 million people across the northern parts of the Philippines’ main island of Luzon will be affected, according to the government’s disaster risk management agency.
Haima was approaching the Philippines with sustained winds of 225 km an hour and gusts of 315 km an hour, according to the state weather bureau. Authorities warned coastal communities to expect storm surges of five metres (16 feet) or higher.