Super Hurricane Goni killed four people in Philippines After high winds caused blackouts and destroyed infrastructure. About 350,000 people have been evacuated from its projected route, including in the capital, Manila, where it ordered the main international airport to close.
Provincial Governor Francis Bishara said that Goni made landfall twice at two locations in the Bicol region, with four deaths reported, including one hit by a tree and a five-year-old child after a river overflowed.
Video footage broadcast by news channels and on social media showed rivers flooding and demolishing some dams, causing villages in Bicol to flood.
Bishara also received reports of volcanic mud flows, as well as power outages and communications services.
In Quezon, Governor Danilo Suarez said power was cut in 10 towns after Goni knocked down trees.
The disaster management agency said between 19 million and 31 million people could be affected by the typhoon, including those living in risk areas and in the capital, Manila.
“There are a lot of people who are already in areas at risk,” said Ricardo Gallade, who heads the government’s disaster response agency. “We expect a lot of damage.”
The storm hit in the early hours of the morning with sustained winds of 215 km / h (133 mph) and gusts of 290 km / h (180 mph). It was blowing west toward densely populated areas, including Manila, and rain-hit provinces are still recovering from a hurricane that struck a week ago and left at least 22 dead.
The Philippine Meteorological Agency said in an urgent warning: “Within the next 12 hours, you will witness violent catastrophic winds and torrential rains associated with the eye wall area and the internal rain ranges of the typhoon.”
Catanduanes W. The first hit will be in four more provinces, Including Alpay, where tens of thousands of villagers have been taken to safety, especially near the active Mayon volcano, where mudflows have killed them during past storms. Residents have been warned of potential landslides, massive floods, storm surges over 5 meters (16 feet) and high winds that can blow impoverished homes.
One of the strongest tornadoes in the world this year, Goni has evoked memories Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, Which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing, destroyed entire villages to the ground, engulfed inland ships and displaced more than five million in the central Philippines.
Some 347,00 people have been proactively moved to emergency shelters, most of them from schools and government buildings. He warned of storms that could engulf coastal villages, including Manila Bay.
Meteorologists said the hurricane may hit or patronize Manila, the densely populated capital of more than 13 million people, from late Sunday to early Monday, and asked the public to prepare for the worst. The typhoon may weaken considerably after it hits the Sierra Madre mountain range, then crosses the main northern island of Luzon toward the South China Sea.
Manila’s main airport has been closed for 24 hours from Sunday to Monday, and airlines have canceled dozens of international and domestic flights. The Army and National Police, along with the Coast Guard and firefighters, have been put on high alert.
Gilad said that about 1,000 Covid-19 patients have been transferred to hospitals and hotels from quarantine and treatment centers in the capital and the northern province of Bulacan. More emergency shelters will be opened than usual to avoid overcrowding that can quickly lead to infection.
Hurricane preparations will further strain government resources, which have been depleted by months of the outbreak of the Coronavirus, prompting the government to establish isolation and treatment centers as hospitals overwhelmed with assistance to more than 20 million poor Filipinos.
The Philippines has reported more than 380,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, the second highest in Southeast Asia, with 7,221 deaths.
Jallad said displaced villagers may have to stay longer in evacuation centers even after Goni passes, due to another storm brewing in the Pacific Ocean that could affect the Philippines in a few days.
The Philippines experiences about 20 typhoons and storms every year. It is also located in what is known as the “Ring of Fire” in the Pacific Ocean, a seismically active region around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common, making the impoverished country of more than 100 million people one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world.
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