Philippines evacuates coastal areas as approaching typhoon strengthens

Philippine Coast Guard Chief Rear Adm. Rodolfo Isorena, left, witnesses the blessing of newly-acquired rubber boats following blessing ceremony Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013 in Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

MANILA: The Philippines evacuated coastal areas and put emergency workers on alert on Wednesday as a storm expected to grow into a super typhoon headed towards central islands still recovering from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit last month.

Typhoon Haiyan, with gusts of up to 185 kph (115 mph), was moving over the sea at 30 kph (18 mph) and may make landfall at mid-day on Friday in the central islands of Samar and Leyte, said Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo.

"We are advising the people to secure their homes because we are expecting a powerful typhoon, a super typhoon," Montejo said.

"It's still in the Pacific but it has gained speed and may enter our area of responsibility by tomorrow (Thursday)."

Officials in the central Cebu, Bohol and Albay areas have closed schools, prepared emergency shelters and food and put emergency workers on alert.

"We're aiming for zero casualties so we sent advisories to local disaster agencies to start evacuating people from coastal and low-lying areas as well as those in landslide-prone areas," said Flor Gaviola, a regional disaster official.

Thousands of people on Bohol island are still in shelters after their homes were destroyed in an Oct. 15 earthquake that killed more than 200 people.

About 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year.

Typhoon Bopha, the strongest storm to hit last year, flattened three coastal towns on the southern island of Mindanao, killing 1,100 people, and destroyed crops, property and infrastructure worth $1.04 billion.





Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (

comments powered by Disqus



Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here