Manila : More than 700,000 people fled the central Philippines amid threats of giant waves, floods and landslides as powerful Typhoon Melor approached the archipelago nation. Typhoon Melor rubbed into northern tip of Samar, a farming island of 1.5 million people, in the early hours today, and created windy storms, with winds gusting at 185 kilometres (115 miles) per hour. The state weather bureau informed that althought the fury of wind gush was dangerously fearsome, yet, fortunately, there were no immediate reports of casualties or damages, in the ab initio stage of typhoon alarm.
Samar has been an area prone to typhoon trouble and carries with itself, a history of such calamities even in the past. It was one of those areas which got devastated in 2013 by Typhoon Haiyan, when giant waves wiped out entire communities, leaving 7,350 people dead or missing.
Authorities today have warned that Melor’s powerful winds bear the potential to whip up four-metre (13-feet) high waves, blow off tin roofs and uproot trees. Additionally, the Met department is not ruling out heavy rains causing havoc within its 300-kilometre diameter, and weather bulletins are anticipating floods and landslides.
The update on Typhoon Melor released by National Disaster monitoring office spoke of parallel evacuations in other sensitive zones in vicinity — like, in Albay province alone, almost 600,000 people were evacuated due to fears that heavy rains could cause mudslides on the slopes of nearby Mayon Volcano. A detail report of Albay evac showed images of residents carrying bags of clothes and water jugs clambered onto army trucks in Albay’s Legazpi City ever since authorities sounded an evacuation alarm. The alarms were supported by factual catastrophe when huge waves crashed into the city’s deserted boulevard rendering the high rise palm trees swaying like tendrils amid strong winds.
Same was the state of affairs in the region of Sorsogon. An additional 130,000 people were also evacuated in nearby Sorsogon as the latest typhoon is expected to cut across the country’s central heartlands in the early hours of Tuesday before heading out to the South China Sea in the west. The government had prepared more than 200,000 food packs and other emergency items ahead of the storm’s landfall, as confirmed by social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman.
The Philippines is unfortunately a favored address for typhoon and contains a large history sheet which reveals that this region gets battered by an average of 20 typhoons annually. Typhoon Koppu, the last deadly storm to hit the country, had killed 54 people and had forced tens of thousands to flee their homes after it pummeled the northern Philippines in the recent month of October.