Monster winds lash Visayas

Big waves pound a sea wall in Legazpi City, Albay province. One of the most intense typhoons in recorded history slammed into central Philippines on Friday, killing at least three people and displacing millions as monster winds tore off roofs and giant waves washed away flimsy homes. AFP PHOTO

Big waves pound a sea wall in Legazpi City, Albay province. One of the most intense typhoons in recorded history slammed into central Philippines on Friday, killing at least three people and displacing millions as monster winds tore off roofs and giant waves washed away flimsy homes. AFP PHOTO

Damage from super typhoon expected to be ‘catastrophic’

One of the most intense typhoons on record whipped the Philippines on Friday, killing three people and terrifying millions as monster winds tore roofs off buildings and giant waves washed away flimsy homes.

Super Typhoon Yolanda smashed into coastal communities in Samar before dawn on Friday with maximum sustained winds of about 315 kilometers an hour.

“We’ve had reports of uprooted trees, very strong winds . . . and houses made of light materials being damaged,” Philippine Red Cross chief Gwendolyn Pang told Agence France Presse on Friday afternoon as Yolanda swept across the Philippines’ central and southern islands.

The government said three people had been confirmed killed and another man was missing after he fell off a gangplank in Cebu City.

But the death toll was expected to rise, with authorities unable to immediately contact the worst affected areas.

“The winds were so strong that they flattened all the banana plants around the house,” university student Jessa Aljibe, 19, told AFP by telephone from the Samar city of Borongan shortly after Yolanda made landfall.

All telephone contact to the island was later lost as the typhoon moved inland.

“We have put rescue teams and equipment at different places, but at the moment we can’t really do much because of the heavy rain and strong winds. There is no power,” said Pang.

An average of 20 major storms or typhoons, many of them deadly, batter the Philippines each year.

It suffered the world’s strongest storm of 2012, when Typhoon Pablo left about 2,000 people dead or missing in Mindanao.

But Yolanda’s wind strength made it one of the four most powerful typhoons ever recorded in the world, and the most intense to have made landfall, according to Jeff Masters, the director of meteorology at US-based Weather Underground.

It generated gusts of 379 kph on Friday morning, according to the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center.

Masters said the previous record for the strongest typhoon to make landfall was Hurricane Camille, which hit Mississippi in the United States with sustained winds of 190 miles an hour in 1969.

The US expert said he expected the damage in Guiuan, a fishing town in Samar of about 40,000 people that was the first to be hit on Friday, to be “catastrophic”.

Communication lines with Guiuan remained cut off in the afternoon, and the civil defense office said it was unable to give an assessment of the damage there.

In Tacloban, a nearby city of more than 200,000 people, corrugated iron sheets were ripped off roofs and floated with the wind before crashing into buildings, according to video footage taken by a resident.

Flash floods also turned Tacloban’s streets into rivers, while a photo from an ABS-CBN television reporter showed six bamboo houses washed away along a beach more than 200 kilometers to the south.

More than 125,000 people in the most vulnerable areas had been moved to evacuation centers before the typhoon hit, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, and millions of others huddled in their homes.

Authorities said schools in the storm’s path were closed, ferry services suspended and flights cancelled.

In Metro Manila, which was on the northern edge of the typhoon’s path, many schools were closed amid forecasts of heavy rain.

One particularly vulnerable area in Yolanda’s path was Bohol, the epicenter of a 7.1-magnitude earthquake last month that killed 222 people.

At least 5,000 survivors were still living in tents on Bohol, and they were moved to schools that had been turned into evacuation centers.

Thousands of travellers were stranded as vessels stayed in ports to avoid Yolanda’s wrath.

The Philippine Coast Guard reported 2,995 stranded passengers in Sorsogon, Catbalogan, Samar, and Bacolod City.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. assured on Friday that the government has enough resources to help families affected by Yolanda.

Coloma said the government had prepositioned emergency relief resources amounting to P195 million that included 84,965 family food packs.

The funds for relief operations came from the budget of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Cellular service was cut off in Samar and Leyte.

Globe Telecom said that as of noon Friday, about 20 percent of its network in the Visayas was down. The typhoon also disrupted in about 6 percent of its network in the Mindanao area, said Robert Tan, Globe chief technical adviser.

Tan attributed the disruption to downed power lines. Antennas in some cell sites also became misaligned because of Yolanda’s monster winds.

Service areas affected by the typhoon in the Visayas include Biliran, Cebu, Eastern Samar, Leyte, Northern Samar, Southern Leyte, Western Samar and Iloilo.

Areas affected in Mindanao are the provinces of Camiguin, Dinagat Islands and Surigao del Norte.

The Department of Science and Technology’s Project NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards) said areas in the typhoon’s path could experience tidal and storm-induced waves that could reach as high as 17 feet.

Project NOAH said Ormoc in Leyte could experience waves as high as 5.2 meters.
Major airports in the Visayas shut down on Friday.

At the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, 458 flights to and from Visayas and Mindanao were cancelled.

Billboard concessionaires at the airport were told to fold tarpaulins.

The airport management advised food outlets in the four NAIA terminals to stay open for stranded passengers.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines advised commercial airlines to transfer their planes from NAIA to Clark or Subic as a precaution.

In Quezon City, Mayor Herbert Bautista ordered the all the city’s emergency response teams to prepare for deployment to areas ravaged by Yolanda.

In Quezon province, which is on the fringe of the typhoon, a fisherman was reported missing.



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  1. Malacanang initially released, coming from the media news – P250M as relief aid to poor typhoon displaced victims. Two Hundred Fifty Million smackaroos is a measly
    peanuts when you are holding a humongous warehouse filled with bagful of smackaroos called DAP. Helloooooooooo…..calling, calling Master Clown Juggler Butch Abad. Now, let us all sing, in unison – “Release ME”, or just the dreaded and killer song “My Way’ – whichever.

  2. I will NOT be surprise at all if Casualties will turn out in a conservative estimates of between 1,000 – 2,000 range -, considering the two islands of Samar and Leyte absorbed the brunt of the killer typhoon’s wrath and ocean-derived power….as we speak, the breakdown of total communication lines coming from these two island provinces is trickling, and at most silent. And a number of communities were also affected from the other island provinces – Cebu, Bohol, Romblon, Panay island provinces, Palawan, and the island of Mindoro comprising two provinces.

    The immediate message and acknowledgement of the devastation is so meek and deafening from the Palace. But defending the legality of their illegal DAP,- they go on air on all networks. WHAT IS THE PALACE WAITING ON? – TO MAKE THEIR PRONOUNCEMENTS OF THE REAL SITUATION AND DEVASTATION brought by the super typhoon to hit the globe this year, and one of the all time killer typhoon/hurricane/cyclone in the globe in recent memory….???? I am totally
    dumbstruck…oh I see…they are waiting for foreign government aids to pour in – a potential largesse for kickbacks and pocket money for politicos – and all the masses will get n receive as aid are expired items marked as “donated by so and so politicians…” Holy Lord, have mercy on this god forsaken country of THIEVES called Islas Ladrones y Pilipinas….

  3. It is indeed devastation for Phillipines. Let the people of Phillipines believe in their inner strengths and brave this unprecedented wrath of Nature. Let us help all the Phillipinos in these hours of need. Let all of us encourage the people of Bohol who were shaken in the earthquake of last october. let not the freaky nature hit further this lovely archipelago of this universe further. Let all of us extend their hands of cooperation and feel for the Phillipinos from the core of their heart.

  4. November 8, 2013
    Contact: Rocky Twyman at 301-768-1076

    URGENT VIGIL/COMMUNITY FUNDRAISER FOR THE PHILLIPINES, VICTIMS OF LARGEST CYLONE EVER. This Saturday, November 9, 2013, Filipino Seventh-day Adventist Church, 7412 Livingston Road, Oxon Hill, Maryland-currentl7y meeting in Filipino-American Cultural Center-11:00 AM to 1 PM. Because of the urgency of this situation, a luncheon that takes places from 1 – to 2:30 PM will be turned into a prayer feast for the Filipino people who are suffering during this disaster. We will feed the media well who attend.

    Over 100 people from the Filipino community and representatives of The Pray at the Pump Movement (PAPM ) will hold a community prayer vigil and fundraiser for the Filipinos who have been devastated by Typhoon Haiyan or Yolanda in American terms. Over 750,000 individuals have been evacuated because of the disaster. According to Navy weather officials, the 235 mile wind gusts when the cyclone hit land make it the strongest ever on record. It had a monstrous 375 mile radius at its peak and is not headed for Vietnam where it could do more damage after gaining momentum from the ocean. The island was also the scene of a recent earthquake making this double whammy.
    Many gathered at this site have friends and relatives who live in islands. Because the power has been knocked , they have not been able to communicate with them. Pastor Matira will lead those gathered in several seasons of prayer. Several outstanding musicians will provide songs of hope and comfort for those who are worried about their loved ones and for the safety of those impacted. The Pray at the Pump Movement (PAPM) will be on hand with a Book of Prayers for people to sign. By signing, they agree to pray without ceasing for the people and to make a contribution to ADRA, Adventist Development Relief Agency, that is providing assistance to those who are victims of the disaster. PAPM is encouraging churches across the United States to use their services on Saturday and Sunday to remember the people of the Philippines and take up special collections during this critical time. PAPM is planning a musical fundraiser in Rockville, Maryland with a Haitian church. Filipinos really helped Haiti when they went through a similar crisis complete with earthquake and hurricane. .