The people of the Philippines are bracing for the Friday arrival of Typhoon Yolanda, also known as supertyphoon Haiyan, which is likely to bring its fury to the island of Mindenao. The storm has accelerated and is expected to make landfall early Friday morning in the Samar-Leyte area.
The western storm has continued to intensify since Sunday, and is expected to contain maximum sustained winds of more than 160 mph. It's heading due west, and was previously expected make landfall in the Samar-Leyte area by Friday afternoon, according to the Philippine Daily Inquirer
. The storm will be named "Yolanda" when it reaches the Philippine area of responsibility.
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School classes have already been suspended in the province of Surigao del Norte, which is closes to Yolanda's path. Gov. Sol F. Matugas also ordered work suspended in the capitol, Minda News reported.
"Due to very favorable environmental conditions, rapid intensification is forecast over the next 48 hours with a peak intensity of 130 knots (241 kilometers per hour)," said a forecast from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, said the Philippine Inquirer.
The storm is expected to weaken as it moves through the Philippines islands, but Haiyan will still be strong when it gets to the South China Sea on Saturday, according to the International Business Times
"It will cut through Visayas and exit through Mindoro. If it maintains its westward track, it has a low chance of hitting Metro Manila. But it may also go west-northwest," JTWC said in a news release.
Senior meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski wrote in an article on Accuweather.com that Yolanda is "a serious threat" to the Philippines,
as its force will equal that of a Category 4 hurricane in the Atlantic.
"The expected track of Haiyan will take it directly over the areas hardest hit by a powerful 7.1 magnitude earthquake that killed more than 150 people in the middle of October," she wrote.
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