Super Typhoon Noru slams into the Philippines

MANILA: Super storm Noru made landfall in the Philippines on Sunday, ravaging the densely populated main island of Luzon with strong winds and heavy rain that forced thousands of people to flee their homes.
The state’s weather forecast said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers (121 miles) an hour as it headed toward the archipelago nation after an unprecedented “enhanced outburst.”
Noru, the strongest typhoon to make landfall in the Philippines this year, made landfall in the Burdeos Autonomous Region on the Polillo Islands, part of Quezon Province, at 5:30 p.m. (09:30 p.m.) GMT).
Video posted on social media and verified by AFP showed trees swaying wildly as wind and rain whipped through the islands.
“We ask residents living in hazardous areas to comply with calls to evacuate whenever necessary.” Philippine National Police Minister Rodolfo Azurin said.
The Philippines is regularly ravaged by typhoons, with scientists warning they are becoming stronger as the world heats up due to climate change.
“The wind was very strong this morning,” said Ernesto Portillo, 30, a cook in the coastal city of Infanta in Quezon.
“We were a little nervous… We secured our stuff and bought a few groceries so we had food in case.”
The meteorological agency said the storm’s winds had increased by 90 kilometers an hour for 24 hours.
Weather forecaster Robb Gile said: “Hurricanes are like engines – you need fuel and emissions to work.
“In the case of Karding, it has good fuel because it has a lot of warm water along its track and then has good emissions in the upper atmosphere – so it’s a good recipe for increased flare. explosion,” he added, using the local name for the storm.
The storm made landfall about 100 kilometers northeast of the capital Manila. Emergency workers were bracing for the possibility of strong winds and heavy rain hitting the capital, home to more than 13 million people.
Forced evacuations are underway in several high-risk areas of the metropolis, including impoverished communities living in flimsy riverside shacks.
Gloria Perez, 68, was part of a group that sheltered in modular tents set up on an indoor basketball court.
“I had to evacuate the house where I was living because I was scared, the flood there was very high,” Perez told AFP.
“I don’t want to repeat what happened to me before.”
– Calm before the storm – Noru comes nine months after another super typhoon devastated parts of the country, killing more than 400 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.
Disaster officials said more than 4,600 people were displaced before the latest storm made landfall, including residents in several autonomous cities in Quezon.
In the neighboring province of dawnresidents of the municipality of Dingalan were forced to seek shelter.
Rhea Tan, 54 years old, a restaurant manager in Dingalan.
Noru is expected to weaken to a typhoon as it sweeps across central Luzon, before entering the South China Sea on Monday and heading towards Vietnam.
The weather agency warned of dangerous high tides of more than 3 meters along the coasts of Aurora and Quezon, including the islands of Polillo, along with widespread flooding and landslides as the storm dumped heavy rain.
It could topple coconut and mango trees, cause “severe damage” to rice and corn crops in heavily agricultural areas, and flood villages.
The Coast Guard said more than 2,500 people were stranded due to ferry cancellations as boats arrived at shelters ahead of the storm.
Dozens of flights in and out of Manila were also cancelled.
Classes and non-essential government services were suspended on Monday.
The Philippines – which ranks among the most vulnerable to the effects of climate change – experiences an average of 20 typhoons a year.

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