3 years after Haiyan, super typhoon Haima threatens Philippines once more; weather bureau raises signal no. 5

By @vitthernandez on
Pre-emptive Evacuation
Evacuees from the coastal villages take shelter inside an evacuation center as Typhoon Haima locally name Lawin approaches, in Alcala town, Cagayan province, north of Manila October 19, 2016. Reuters/Stringer

Many Filipinos are bracing for a possible repeat of a nightmare they experience in late 2013 when super typhoon battered the country, killed more than 7,300 people and almost leveled to the ground a port city in the Visayas region. Ironically, both super typhoons have similar-sounding names, but the country is hopeful it has better chances of surviving the new category 5 super typhoon Haima.

Locally named Lawin, or hawk, the super typhoon is expected to make a landfall on Wednesday, prompting the Philippine weather bureau to raise signal no. 5. Other measures to avert a disasters similar to what Haiyan (Yolanda) caused include suspension of classes in all affected regions and pre-emptive evacuation of residents in high-risk areas, ABS-CBN reports.

Haima, as of 2 pm, was packing top sustained winds of 223 kph near the center and has gusts of up to 315 kph. The weather bureau raised signal no. 5 in two northern province – Cagayan and Isabela, no. 4 in eight provinces/areas, no. 3 in five provinces, no 2 in eight provinces and areas and no 1 in 14 areas, including the flood-prone national capital region.

If Lawin would make a landfall in the Cagayan-Isabela area either at 11 pm of Wednesday or 2 am of Thursday, it would cross Apayao and Ilocos Norte, moving westward at 25 kph, CNN reports.

Flights were cancelled and the Philippine Coast Guard prohibited sea travel and fishing, New York Times reports.

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