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Typhoon Noru batters the Philippines: More than 8,000 are evacuated as rain and 120mph gusts hit

More than 8,000 people in the Philippines have been evacuated from their homes as the islands are battered by a typhoon bringing 120mph winds and torrential rains that toppled trees, ripped out power lines and devastated the country.

Typhoon Noru passed through the heavily populated main island of Luzon after an “explosive intensification”, the state meteorologist said.

Nearly 8,400 people were preemptively evacuated from Noru Road as winds toppled trees, ripped power lines and caused storm surges up to three meters high.

The Category 3 tropical storm’s maximum sustained winds were recorded at 121 mph after making landfall, the state weather agency said.

Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos on Monday declared a suspension of government work and school classes as the Category 3 tropical storm continues to wreak havoc.

Rescuers run as they check residents living in the seaside slum of Tondo as Typhoon Noru approaches Manila, the capital of the Philippines, today

Residents carry their children as they evacuate to safer grounds to prepare for the arrival of Typhoon Noru in the seaside district of Tondo in Manila

Residents prepare to return home after volunteers and local officials remind the neighborhood to evacuate

A young family takes refuge in an evacuation center in Manila, in preparation for Super Typhoo

Noru, the strongest storm to hit the Philippines this year, made landfall in the northeast, over the municipality of Burdeos on the Polillo Islands, part of Quezon province, at 5:30 p.m. local time, 9:30 a.m. GMT.

It made landfall about 100 kilometers northeast of the capital, Manila, and emergency personnel prepared for the possibility of strong winds and heavy rains to hit the city, which is home to more than 13 million people. people.

The meteorological office issued warnings late Sunday evening for “severe flooding” in vulnerable areas of Manila and neighboring provinces as Noru poured down heavy rains.

“We ask residents living in dangerous areas to respect calls to evacuate whenever necessary,” Philippine National Police Chief General Rodolfo Azurin said.

Forced evacuations are underway in some high-risk areas of the capital, including poor communities living in flimsy shacks along rivers and near the sea.

Pictured: Evacuees rest in a gymnasium turned into a temporary evacuation center in Manila

A family with their belongings arrives at an evacuation center in Quezon City. Families have fled their homes often with very few possessions to take refuge in safer communal buildings

Families have fled their homes often with very few possessions to take refuge in safer communal buildings.

Residents of Tondo, a poor Manila neighborhood that sits on the waterfront, were pictured carrying their children as they evacuated to safer grounds before the storm hit.

Gloria Perez, 68, was among a group sheltering in modular tents set up on an indoor basketball court.

“I evacuated the house where I live because I’m scared the flood there is getting very high,” Perez said.

“I don’t want a repeat of what happened to me before.”

A village officer speaks to residents near a stream in Quezon City. Forced evacuations are underway in some high-risk areas of the capital

“The winds were high this morning,” said Ernesto Portillo, 30, who works as a cook in the coastal municipality of Infante in Quezon.

“We’re a little worried…We’ve secured our things and bought some groceries to have some food just in case.”

Noru, known locally in the Philippines as Typhoon Karding, is expected to enter the South China Sea on Monday and head towards Vietnam.

“Typhoons are like engines – you need fuel and exhaust to run,” said meteorologist Robb Gile.

A young family shelters in a modular tent at an evacuation center in Baseco, Manila as Typhoon Noru approaches the Philippines

Residents speaking to a village officer outside their home, with one sheltering from the downpours with an umbrella

A man carries sacks of food while another reinforces their roof as they prepare for the arrival of Typhoon Noru in Manila

“In Karding’s case it has good fuel because it has a lot of warm waters along its path and then there’s good exhaust in the upper level of the atmosphere – so that’s a good recipe for an explosive intensification,” he added, using the storm’s local name.

Noru comes nine months after another super typhoon devastated swaths of the country, killing more than 400 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.

Damaged tree branches lie on the ground during heavy rain in Polillo, Quezon province. The storm could cause longer-term damage by knocking down coconut and mango trees and causing ‘serious losses’ to rice and maize crops in the heavily agricultural region

Waves crash into the coastal road during a heavy storm in Polillo, Quezon Province. The weather bureau has warned of dangerous storm surges over three meters high along the Aurora and Quezon coast

“People living near the coast have been ordered to evacuate. We live far from the coast so we are staying put so far. We are more concerned about mountain water,” said Rhea Tan, 54, a restaurant manager in Dingalan.

The weather bureau warned of dangerous storm surges over three meters high along the Aurora and Quezon coast, including the Polillo Islands, as well as widespread flooding and landslides as the storm permeates the region.

The storm could cause longer-term damage by knocking down coconut and mango trees and causing “serious losses” to rice and maize crops in the heavily agricultural region, with videos showing strong winds toppling huge trees .

A satellite image released by NASA on Saturday shows Typhoon Noru approaching the Philippines

The Coast Guard reported that more than 2,500 people were stranded by ferry cancellations as ships took shelter ahead of the storm.

Dozens of flights to and from Manila have also been canceled.

The Philippines – ranked among the nations most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change – are hit by an average of 20 storms each year.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones on record, killed 6,300 people.

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