Lives will be at a standstill for many parts of the Philippines when super typhoon Yolanda (International name: Haiyan) finally makes its presence felt as it takes a path through the central Philippines from tonight until Saturday. The typhoon is already a Category 5 and packing winds above 250 kph. It will be a destructive system as it plows through areas already saturated by rains from a storm that preceded it just a few days ago. The image below is from Google Earth, showing the approaching typhoon as of early morning of November 7 (Philippine time).
Transport will surely be affected by this powerful typhoon with airlines already expected to cancel or postpone flights. Sea craft were also already advised against travel given the waves and storm surges expected from the typhoon. Landslides are also expected in mountainous areas where roads will probably be blocked by debris. Trees, poles and others are also expected to be strewn across many roads, limiting access to communities. As such, our disaster councils are on high alert to respond to the challenges that will be brought about by the typhoon’s onslaught.
People in the provinces of Bohol and Cebu that bore the brunt of the recent magnitude 7.2 earthquake are still reeling from the damages from the quake. Many are still living in tents after their homes were destroyed or damaged by the quake and its aftershocks. We can only assume and trust that our national agencies, disaster councils and local governments are prepared to provide immediate relief to those who will be affected by the typhoon including those who continue to defy advisories issued by authorities in order to minimize casualties from such events.