Over 3,000 people taken to safer grounds as Philippines braces for strong typhoon

Monday, 2019-12-02 15:56:55
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Over 3,000 residents in the central Philippines have been taken to safer grounds as the Philippines braces for powerful typhoon Kammuri that is expected to lash the archipelago on Monday (December 2) night.

Flights and ferry service have also been suspended in areas that will be directly hit by the typhoon which has slightly intensified on Monday as it heads west at 20 kph. Kummari is forecast to make a landfall in the provinces of Catanduanes and Albay on Monday night or early Tuesday morning.

As of Monday morning, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), the state weather bureau, said typhoon Kammuri was located 355 kilometers east of Virac, Catanduanes province, packing sustained winds of up to 150 kilometer per hour and gustiness of up to 185 kph.

Some of the areas that will be affected by the typhoon are the designated venues for sports events of the ongoing 30th Southeast Asian Games in Metro Manila, and the provinces south and north of Manila.

However, Ramon Suzara of the Philippine SEA Games organizing committee, is unfazed by the threat of typhoon, saying contingency plans have been "in place long time ago."

"As long as the category of the typhoon is still manageable but if it's really strong then we have to cancel, or postpone or delay the matches," he said.

Suzara added that there is no need to extend the SEA Games competition, saying the typhoon will only linger for four hours and then games can resume "hopefully."

The Philippines is host to the 2019 SEA Games which officially opened on November 30 and ends on December 11.

Ricardo Jalad, Undersecretary of Department of National Defense and the Executive Director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), said "intermittent to occasional heavy rains" will be experienced over Metro Manila, and nearby provinces in the Philippine main Luzon Island, central Philippines and northern part of Mindanao island in the southern Philippines.

Jalad said storm surge with height of 1 to 3 meters may affect several coastal areas in Luzon Island provinces of Quezon, Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, and Samar in the central Philippines.

Already, the government raised the typhoon signal in many areas, including Metro Manila, on Monday, prompting some schools to suspend classes on Monday afternoon.

Xinhua