North Philippines braces for super typhoon
Category 5 typhoon Mangkhut, known as “Ompong” has entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Thursday afternoon, and is rapidly advancing to the northeastern tip of the Philippines where it is expected to wreak devastation come Saturday morning.
According to the local weather bureau, Mangkhut, identified as the “strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year”, has a maximum sustained wind of 205 kilometers per hour and gustiness of 255. It is expected to gain more strength as it traverses the northern waters of the Philippines before it exits to Hongkong and then to China.
In 2013, the Philippines was hit by super typhoon Haiyan leaving thousands dead and missing, and millions of properties damaged across the country’s central islands.
With Mangkhut’s sustained strength, the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System said 43 million people will be greatly affected as it pummels the countries of the Philippines, Taiwan, Hongkong, and China.
Locals were asked to leave coastal areas and to secure themselves in higher grounds as heavy rains resulting to flooding, storm surges, landslides, and flash floods might occur.
Leaders from the Adventist church in the Southern Asia-Pacific (SSD) region are soliciting special prayers for those who will be affected by this storm.
Recognizing the threat of typhoon Mangkhut ADRA Philippines organized personnel and made plans for immediate assessment and logistics assistance to local government units in the provinces that will be greatly affected.
Thursday morning, ahead of the expected landfall, Moises Musico and Aimee Tapeceria, ADRA aid personnel advanced to Tuguegarao, over 400 km north of Manila to coordinate with local Adventist Community Services (ACS) there on possible needs, and to evaluate means of rapid relief distribution after the disaster strikes.
“We have also contacted our local Adventist missions and conferences in the typhoon’s path to keep us posted on developments in their area,” said Aida Ortilano, ADRA Philippines office coordinator.
ADRA is on high alert now. It is ready to distribute food and shelter kits to affected families right after the typhoon leaves.
Situated along the typhoon belt of the Pacific, the Philippines is one of the many countries which are visited by an average of 20 typhoons each year, five of which are classified as destructive.
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