Tags: typhoon | hagupit | philippines | flee

Typhoon Hagupit Heads for Philippines as Hundreds of Thousands Flee

Image: Typhoon Hagupit Heads for Philippines as Hundreds of Thousands Flee
A Filipino woman prays with rosaries inside a makeshift church in Tacloban City, Philippines. (Francis R. Malasig/EPA/Landov)  

By    |   Friday, 05 Dec 2014 04:45 PM

Hundreds of thousands of people fled inland Friday as Typhoon Hagupit approached the Philippines, with expected landfall to occur Saturday.

With memories of the 7,000 people who died and went missing during November 2013 when Typhoon Haiyan hit the island, about half a million people left their coastal villages and moved away from areas where landslides frequently occur, Reuters said.

The Weather Channel said Typhoon Hagupit, called Typhoon Ruby in the Philippines, was gaining strength Friday as it approached the island as a “super typhoon” with estimated winds of 150 miles per hour. Its “super typhoon” status had been downgraded in the last few days. The storm is expected to make landfall Saturday evening, local time, which would be Saturday morning in the U.S.

“In areas where the wind blows onshore, dangerous storm surge is likely,” the Weather Channel said. “Philippine officials have issued storm surge advisories for a number of communities at risk. Some communities on the islands of Samar and Leyte are at risk of storm surge up to 4 meters (13 feet) according to the alerts, equivalent to the height of a one-story home.”

"Typhoon Hagupit is triggering one of the largest evacuations we have ever seen in peacetime," Denis McClean, spokesman for the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, told Reuters.

"Over 100,000 families are already in evacuation centers," Corazon Soliman, Social Welfare secretary, told Reuters. "Multiply it by five (persons per family), that’s 500,000." Most volunteered to leave.

"I am afraid and scared," Teresita Aban, 58, told Reuters. "We're prepared but still fearful. We haven't finished repairing our house. It still has tarpaulin patches — and here comes another storm."

Reuters said more than 25,000 people still live in tents and shelters after their homes were destroyed by Haiyan.

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Hundreds of thousands of people fled inland Friday as Typhoon Hagupit approached the Philippines, with expected landfall to occur Saturday.
typhoon, hagupit, philippines, flee
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2014-45-05
Friday, 05 Dec 2014 04:45 PM
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