The Philippines wait with dread as massive storm head to capital
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/16/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Thousands have fled in the Philippines as the strongest typhoon this year hit the country on July 15.
Typhoon Rammasun is expected to hit Manilla on July 16, devastating a country that is still recovering from last year's Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 6,100 people and left millions homeless.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Typhoon Rammasun toppled trees and cut power as it cut a swath of destruction towards the capital of Manila, devastating a country that is still recovering from last year's Typhoon Haiyan, which killed 6,100 people and left millions homeless.
Rammasun has gusts of up to 99-miles-per-hour and sustained winds of 80-miles-per-hour near the center, the weather bureau said. The storm is expected to cross the main Luzon island and be over the capital on July 16.
"The wind is very strong, we are really being battered," said Joey Salceda, governor of the coconut and rice-growing Albay province.
Right now Rammasun is a category-three typhoon, on a one to five scale, and is expected to bring intense rainfall of up to 20mm per hour within a 300-mile radius.
It is the strongest storm since Haiyan-which was a category-five-which devestated the country in November.
Philippine officials have said that at least 300,000 people have fled their homes in Albay province alone, and 6,000 ferry passengers were stranded in ports after the coast guard suspended voyages.
President Benigno Aquino said the armed forces were on full alert and ready to provide aid.
"I reiterate, the objective has to be: minimize the casualties and the hardship of our people," he said.
The Rammasun will pass north of Eastern Samar and Leyte, provinces that were hardest hit by Haiyan, where many are still homeless.
Governor Miguel Villafuerte of Camarines Sur said that despite evacuation warnings, many residents were reluctant to leave home.
"We are prepared for the worst," said 67-year-old Rosemarie Poblete of Tobaco City in Albay, whose family of four lives near a river swollen by heavy rain early on Tuesday.
"We bought extra food and candles and are ready for any emergency," she told Reuters.
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