Philippines hit by typhoon Vongfong amid corona virus pandemic
Philippines hit by typhoon Vongfong. Lockdown restrictions in the Philippines are impeding efforts to help victims of Typhoon Vongfong, which struck the east of the country yesterday. Relief workers are trying to move hundreds of thousands of people into evacuation centres, but social distancing rules have thrown in complications. Some 200,000 people need to be rescued from their homes amid fears of flooding or landslides.
MANILA — A typhoon packing winds of nearly 100 miles per hour made landfall in the eastern Philippines on Thursday after gathering strength across the Pacific Ocean, prompting evacuations and raising concerns that the nation’s most populous area may still lie in its path.
Typhoon Vongfong was traveling westward at about 10 m.p.h. when it hit Samar Island in the eastern Philippines at 12:15 p.m., according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration. Thousands were evacuated on Samar Island on Thursday amid widespread power outages, officials said, but there were no immediate reports of deaths.
Forecasters predicted that the storm could dump torrential rains by Saturday across a wide area of the Philippines, including possibly Luzon, the country’s largest island, which has a population of 60 million and includes the capital, Manila.
Much of Luzon remains on lockdown because of the coronavirus epidemic, which could complicate emergency efforts should the storm strike the island with particular force.
In 2013, more than 6,000 people were killed when Super Typhoon Haiyan caused widespread devastation, mostly in the central city of Tacloban, which was inundated by massive tidal swells.
The name of the storm, Vongfong, is derived from the term for wasp in Cantonese.