Philippines typhoon: Super typhoon Goni makes two landfalls after mass evacuations

Typhoon Goni is the strongest storm recorded anywhere in the world so far this year, and ahead of its landfall in the Philippines was gaining further strength with 225 kph (140 miles per hour) sustained winds and gusts of up to 310 kph (190 mph).
In terms of strength, it is the equivalent of a Category 5 Atlantic hurricane. Overall up to 31 million people could be affected by the super typhoon, according to the Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

Philippine authorities evacuated nearly one million people to safer ground as Goni, which is known locally as Rolly, approached the eastern provinces. On Sunday morning it made landfall in Catanduanes and Albay in the Bicol region.

The Philippines weather bureau said “catastrophic violent winds and intense to torrential rainfall” were expected to prevail over Bicol provinces as well as portions of Quezon, Laguna and Batangas, south of the capital Manila.

“This a particularly dangerous situation for these areas,” the bureau said in a bulletin at 8 p.m. ET.

The capital Manila is currently in the projected path of Goni, the 18th tropical storm in the country so far this year, with the weather bureau predicting “intense” rainfall and storm surges for the city.

A third landfall is expected to hit Quezon province later in the day, weather forecaster Lorie dela Cruz told a radio station.

Storm surge alerts have been issued, while officials have also reminded those in evacuation centers to observe social distancing as the coronavirus spread is also a concern.

Dozens of international and domestic flights have been canceled as the civil aviation authority ordered a one-day closure of Manila’s main gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Goni is one of the strongest typhoons to hit the Philippines since super typhoon Haiyan, which killed more than 6,300 people in 2013.

It is the 6th tropical storm to impact the Philippines since October 1. Less than two weeks ago, at least 16 people were killed when Typhoon Molave swept over the country, causing flooding and landslides.
More bad weather is already on its way. A tropical storm is forming over the Philippine Sea and headed towards the north of the country, according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

Tropical Storm Atsani was still more than 1,200 km (745.6 miles) east of the Philippines at 7 p.m. ET Saturday and substantially weaker than Goni, but PAGASA said it is likely to strengthen over Sunday and Monday.

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