The Philippines have been undergoing tremendous destruction as a massive typhoon hits the island again this year. Typhoon Hagupit started its raging explosion late Saturday with extremely strong winds and rains across the country.
It started landfall from a town of Dolores on the eastern coastline of Samar, and kept on moving westward until it took whole region into its grasp. Maximum gusty winds of 130 mph were recorded that felt like a raging storm. It made landfall in the coastal area swiping across the island, before second landfall hit the island of Masbate. The whole Philippines Island is expected to be under storm-like conditions for next few days.
The monster storm downed countless trees and power lines and blew away thousands of houses roof tops. It left the whole region with complete power outage. Broken vehicle parts, ripped off street signs, billboards and containers were common sights across the area. The debris choked the roadways and streets which can cause flood like conditions as drainage had been blocked from all sides of the roads.
According to an estimate, at least three people have been killed and 900,000 are left homeless up till now. The communication system has been damaged badly in most part of Eastern Samar that was first to feel the storm wrath.
Locally known as Ruby, the massive typhoon has hit the Philippines in the same region again as last year. People were not fully recovered from the destruction and aftermath of last year’s typhoon Haiyan, when they are once again taken over by a new one. Right now, they are extremely traumatized and nervous as many of them lost their houses and loved ones last year.
The typhoon is expected to move towards northwest region of the island, passing over Manila before it makes its way to Southern part of China on Tuesday. The United States Typhoon Center has issued the warning that it will pass over the Capital, but the Philippines local storm-monitoring agency has a forecast that it will take a more southern route and is expected to bypass Manila.
It is predicted to create more damage to millions of people in Manila that has bad drainage system and often had led to dangerous floods previously. It is thought that it will take a long time, many months or even years, to recover the damages and provide home and shelter to the people.
The humanitarian commissioner of European Union said that a team of damage control disaster experts will be deployed to assess the damage and develop programs for remedy and rehabilitation. The Red Cross is also activating an international rescue plan to move the victims from coastal areas in case of extreme disaster. Many evacuation plans are underway in the hard hit areas of the island.
The typhoon has somewhat weakened and downed to about 100 mph of gusty and sustained winds currently. It has been downgraded from super typhoon to a typhoon level by the U.S. Navy and is now in category three, but it is still expected to cause heavy rain, severe flood and landslides in the region.
International and many local agencies are on red alert to counter the typhoon effects if it hits Manila. More importantly, as typhoon is hitting Philippines massively, people are already taking precautionary steps to avoid further destruction as they are not ready to take any more chances.
By Atika Jilani
Photo by Patricia Feaster – Flickr License