Saturday, October 15, 2016

Filipinos brace for approach of Typhoon Sarika

Filipinos were awaiting on Saturday the latest weather news and making preparations as Typhoon Sarika approaches the east coast of the main island of Luzon.

In Las Pinas city, south of Manila, fisherman were pulling in their fishing nets and securing their boats in advance of the storm, an epa journalist reports.

According to a warning on the website of the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), Sarika was as of 11am local time (3am GMT) heading northwest towards Aurora province and the northern part of Quezon province on the east coast, with rainfall estimated to range from moderate to heavy within the storm's 500-kilometer diameter.

PAGASA expects the typhoon to make landfall over that part of the coast early Sunday morning.

The administration estimates wind strength to be at 130 kilometers per hour near Sarika's center and to gust at 180 kilometers per hour, putting at high risk the stability of trees, crops, and simple structures.

Though the capital is hundreds of kilometers from the expected landfall area, the metro Manila government has reportedly raised the typhoon alert level to "alpha", a light warning.

The Philippines is one of the most typhoon-prone countries in the world, and is hit by more than a dozen tropical storms every year, some causing catastrophic damage, such as Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, which killed more than 6,000 people.

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