Kammuri closes in on Philippines


  • Philippines
  • Tuesday, 03 Dec 2019

Working together: Residents carrying a wooden boat in Legaspi City, Albay province, south of Manila as part of preparations for Typhoon Kammuri. — AFP

Manila: Tens of thousands of people sheltered in evacuation centres as powerful Typhoon Kammuri barrelled towards the Philippines, threatening plans for South-East Asian Games events near the capital Manila.

Kammuri is expected to make landfall late today or early tomorrow in the nation’s east with intense rains and potent wind gusts of up to 185 kph, forecasters said.

The storm is on track to then pass close to Manila, which is home to some 13 million people and the site for many of the SEA Games events.

Nearly 70,000 people have already fled their homes in the Bicol region, which is where the typhoon is expected to strike first.

“We hope there won’t be any damage, but given its (Kammuri’s) strength, we can’t avoid it,” Mark Timbal, a spokesman for the national disaster agency, said.

“We have preemptively evacuated people in areas that are in the storm’s direct path.”

The weather bureau also warned of rain-induced landslides and possible storm surges of up to 3m which could hit coastal areas in the nation’s east.

The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year, killing hundreds and putting people in disaster-prone areas in a state of constant poverty.

The country’s deadliest cyclone on record was Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing in 2013.

Kammuri is already snarling plans for the SEA Games, which opened Saturday for thousands of athletes from the region and is set to run through to Dec 11 in and around Manila. — AFP

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