Manila (AFP) Oct 18, 2010
Typhoon Megi gathered strength as it barrelled towards the northern Philippines on Monday, with authorities evacuating thousands of villagers to safer ground hours before it was to hit land.
State weather forecasters said Megi has developed into a super typhoon and was expected to slam into the extreme northern Philippines by Monday and then cut westwards towards the South China Sea.
It was then expected to hit China, becoming the country's strongest typhoon this year and prompting the weather agency to issue its second-highest level of alert, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
China warned its vessels to take shelter in ports and urged local authorities to prepare for emergencies caused by wind and rain, the report said.
Megi could uproot trees, blow away houses made of light material, trigger landslides and cause storm surges in coastal areas, Philippine authorities said as they began evacuating people from vulnerable areas.
It is expected to hit the northern province of Cagayan on Monday, and as of Sunday afternoon was already 450 kilometres (388 miles) east of the area, the state weather bureau said.
The storm was packing maximum winds of 195 kilometres an hour near the centre and gusts of up to 230 kilometres an hour, making it a super typhoon, forecasters said.
"Some are still gauging the situation, but those who are living in low areas have voluntarily gone to higher ground," said Benito Ramos, head of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.
He said thousands of people have already temporarily relocated from communities along the Cagayan river system, which had overflowed during previous typhoons.
President Benigno Aquino ordered all government agencies to be on high alert to prevent casualties, while the coast guard was instructed to ban all fishing vessels from setting off to sea in the north.
"The president is reiterating that all agencies concerned should be ready for the approaching super typhoon Juan (Megi)," said Abigail Valte, a deputy spokeswoman for Aquino.
She warned the public against complacency, amid reports that the weather in some northern provinces remained clear as of early Sunday.
But Norma Talosig, regional chief of the Office of Civil Defence, said the government was not ruling out forced evacuation for those who refused to leave their homes despite being told to do so.
"If we have to conduct forced evacuations, we'll do it for their safety," Talosig said over national radio. "Our main objective is the safety of the community, the safety of the responders."
In Manila, disaster officials said food packs, medicine and rescue equipment, including rubber boats, were ready in areas expected to be lashed by the typhoon.
National police spokesman Senior Superintendent Agrimero Cruz said additional search and rescue teams from Manila were en route to the north to bolster forces there.
"We have also declared a full alert status all over the country," Cruz said.
Relief charities were also mobilising in preparation for any damage by the typhoon.
"We have prepositioned goods as well as a standby supplier for rice in case people will be evacuated here in Isabela. We will continue to monitor the typhoon," said Fe Olonan, World Vision program manager in Isabela -- a province of Luzon which is on high-alert.
The Philippines is battered by an average of 20 typhoons a year, some of them deadly.
Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoon Parma struck the northern Philippine island of Luzon within a week of each other in September and October last year, triggering the worst flooding in recent history.
The twin storms killed more than 1,000 people, affected nearly 10 million and caused damage worth 4.3 billion dollars according to the World Bank and international humanitarian agencies.
The US Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center in its latest advisory Sunday said Megi had undergone "rapid intensification", but could weaken as it moves across mountainous terrain after hitting Luzon.
Megi would then begin to steadily re-intensify as it leaves the country heading for the South China Sea, it said.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest
Tropical Storm Paula tests Cuba's infrastructure
Havana (AFP) Oct 14, 2010
Tropical Storm Paula tore through Cuba on Thursday, bringing heavy rains and strong winds, and testing the island's rickety infrastructure two years after string of devastating hurricanes. Paula lost its status as a category one hurricane status just before making landfall in Cuba's western tobacco growing area, but was still dangerous enough for authorities to issue alerts and residents to ... read more
Chile miners return to Camp Hope|
China web users slam nation's mine safety amid Chile rescue
Malnourished Pakistani flood children face winter peril
Pakistan flood damage 9.7 billion dollars: World Bank, ADB
Polymer Behaviors Below The 1 Nanometer Level
Historic computer replica proposed
India seeks 'cool jacket' design to help hot labourers
Tablet computer sales to hit 208 million in 2014
Land Evapotranspiration Taking Unexpected Turn For Worse
Corals Show Ocean Temperature Boundary Rising With Climate Change
Mekong countries should delay dam projects for decade: study
US lifts Gulf of Mexico deepwater drilling ban
Crew circles North Pole in one summer
Study: Glaciers protected Antarctic range
Himalayan climate change action urged
Disappearing Glaciers Enhanced Biodiversity
Scientists Prepare For Confined Field Trials Of Drought Tolerant Transgenic Maize
UN expert calls for farming changes
States rip apart EU bid to fix GM crops mess
U.N. hails eradication of a cattle disease
Super typhoon roars towards Philippines
Eleven dead in southern Russia flash flood: official
NASA Study Of Haiti Quake Yields Surprising Results
Cuba on storm alert as Hurricane Paula approaches
Niger holds three officers for plot against regime
Ethiopia signs peace agreement with rebel faction
HRW calls on DRCongo to arrest former rebel, now general
Niger's number two junta leader arrested: military
Study predicts women in power, Muslims heading West
Baby born from embryo frozen 19 years
'Missing link' fossil debated by science
Research Suggests Volcanoes Nixed Neanderthals
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|