Philippines quake survivors now brace for 'colossal' storm
Typhoon Haiyan threatens 380,000 people already displaced
Satellite photo of Super Typhoon Haiyan as it heads towards Philippines (NOAA)
Disaster officials in the Philippines are scrambling to evacuate civilians caught in the projected path of a “super typhoon” due to make landfall on Friday morning, and which could slam into tens of thousands of flimsy shelters housing survivors of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake last month.
The province of Bohol, where the earthquake struck, killing nearly 200 people and displacing 380,000, is one of a number to have been given the highest warning alert level. A representative for the International Committee for the Red Cross in Philippines has said the impact on the earthquake survivors could be “colossal”.
Super Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful of any tropical cyclone so far this year, is expected to affect areas stretching from the Metro Manila area, where 12 million people live, to northern Mindanao.
Authorities yesterday began evacuating persons with disabilities and senior citizens from areas around the country, following warnings that winds could reach up to 248kph upon landfall. In the province of Iloilo, people living along the identified "tornado alley" areas have been advised to move to safer places while residents in Samar province were urged to stock potable water.
"I have issued a call to prepare for the worst," Ben Evardone, a member of Congress representing Eastern Samar province, told Reuters.
"We have mobilised all LGUs [local government units] and all resources for any contingency. There were already forced and pre-emptive evacuations in some danger areas," he said.
Recent heavy rain in central Philippines will compound the risks of flooding and landslides over the coming days, meteorologists warn. Storm surges along the eastern coast of southern Luzon and in Samar islands, are expected.
In December last year Typhoon Bopha hit Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines, killing around 1,800 people and affecting over six million. Haiyan will be the 25th typhoon to hit the Philippines this year alone.
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