Friday, December 5, 2014

Super typhoon intensifies as it threatens Philippines

Terra Daily via AFP: A super typhoon gained strength on Thursday as it tracked towards the Philippines, threatening more devastation for mostly poor communities where thousands of people have died in an annual tirade of mega-storms.

Weather forecasters warned Hagupit, already generating wind gusts of 240 kilometres (149 miles) an hour, would continue to intensify as it swept in from the Pacific Ocean, and likely hit eastern islands on Saturday.

"Let's prepare for everything," President Benigno Aquino told a nationally televised meeting of disaster agency chiefs, after hearing warnings of giant storm surges and house-destroying winds.

Authorities said Hagupit would likely hit or pass near areas yet to recover from Super Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful storm ever recorded on land that killed or left missing more than 7,350 people in November last year.

In Tacloban, one of the cities worst-hit by Haiyan, some residents began evacuating from vulnerable coastal areas well ahead of Hagupit's expected arrival, while others emptied supermarket shelves of essential supplies....

NASA image of Hagupit, taken December 4, 2014

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