Hundreds of thousands evacuated as Philippines braces for Typhoon Kammuri

World Tuesday 03/December/2019 16:09 PM
By: Times News Service
Hundreds of thousands evacuated as Philippines braces for Typhoon Kammuri

The Philippines evacuated 200,000 people and will close its main international airport as Typhoon Kammuri made landfall on Monday night.

The 20th typhoon to hit the country this year, Typhoon Kammuri (also called Tisoy) made landfall in Gubat, Sorsogon, on the southeastern part of Luzon Island, at 11:00 p.m. local time (1500 UTC), according to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).

The typhoon is packing maximum wind speeds of 175 kilometers per hour (108 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 240 kilometers per hour (149 miles per hour), PAGASA reported, and will continue to bring violent winds and intense rainfall as it tears through the country.

The country's disaster agency said 200,000 people living in coastal and mountainous areas had been evacuated from dozens of provinces in southern Luzon due to fears of flooding and landslides.

The cyclone is expected to blow near Manila at midday on Tuesday.

All four terminals of Manila's Ninoy Aquino International Airport will be closed from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Tuesday as a precaution.

Schools in affected provinces were also closed.

Officials have warned of storm surges of up to 3 meters (nearly 10 feet), according to the Office of Civil Defense.

"We're aiming for zero casualties and we can attain that with preemptive evacuations,'' said Ricardo Jalad, who heads the government's disaster response agency.

The Philippines is currently hosting thousands of athletes from the region for the Southeast Asia Games which are set to run through December 11. Windsurfing and canoeing competitions scheduled for Tuesday have been suspended.