Su­per typhoon slams into coun­try’s north-eastern re­gion

Jamaica Gleaner - - INTERNATIONAL NEWS -

Montenegro’s prime min­is­ter and long-rul­ing Demo­cratic Party of So­cial­ists leader Milo Djukanovic (right) cel­e­brates with a sup­porter af­ter claim­ing vic­tory in par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, in Podgorica, Montenegro, last Mon­day. BINALONAN (AP): SU­PER TYPHOON Haima slammed into the north­east­ern Philippine coast late yes­ter­day with fe­ro­cious winds and rain that rekin­dled fears and mem­o­ries from the catas­tro­phe wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Haima, which has sus­tained winds of 225 kilo­me­tres (140 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 315 kph (195 mph), made land­fall at Pen­ablanca town in Ca­gayan prov­ince shortly be­fore mid­night, weather of­fi­cials said. Many vil­lages lost power and in­tense winds tore tin roofs off houses.

“We can’t go out be­cause the wind is so in­tense, trees are be­ing forced down,” Coun­cil­lor Elisa Aru­gay told DZMM ra­dio from Ca­masi vil­lage in Pen­ablanca.

Of­fi­cials were con­cerned be­cause the pow­er­ful typhoon struck at night and is ex­pected to hit towns and cities amid power out­ages. Af­ter Ca­gayan, Haima is forecast to blow across the moun­tain­ous prov­ince of Apayao and then lash Ilo­cos Norte prov­ince be­fore ex­it­ing into the South China Sea this morn­ing.

The Gov­ern­ment’s weather agency raised the storm warn­ing to the high­est level in six north­ern prov­inces, which meant that pow­er­ful winds could in­flict “very heavy to wide­spread dam­age” and whip up storm surges of up to five me­tres (16 feet), enough to en­gulf shanties in many ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties.

“We are pos­si­bly deal­ing with a typhoon that is even stronger than Typhoon Yolanda,” said Ex­ec­u­tive Sec­re­tary Sal­vador Me­di­aldea, re­fer­ring to the lo­cal name for Haiyan. “We must, there­fore, brace our­selves for the pos­si­ble ef­fects of a typhoon of this mag­ni­tude.”

Many of the prov­inces are still re­cov­er­ing from pow­er­ful Typhoon Sarika, which left at least two peo­ple dead and dis­placed tens of thou­sands of vil­lagers last week­end. The re­gion was spared from a ma­jor dis­as­ter due in part to the storm’s speed, of­fi­cials said.

AP

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