Northern Albay now under Signal No. 4: Over a million evacuated as PH braces for storm’s powerful impact

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The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has reported about an estimated one million people and possibly more have been evacuated in various places in Luzon including Bicol region before the earth’s most powerful storm yet hits land on Sunday, November 1, 2020.

The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) have already shut Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) operations for all flights 24 hours from 10 a.m. Sunday as Super Typhoon “Rolly” (international name: Goni) approaches.

NDRRMC Executive Director Under Secretary Ricardo Jalad said the preemptive evacuation are currently taking place. Nearly 800,000 people have fled their homes in Albay province, while 200,000 more have been evacuated in nearby provinces.

According to the state weather agency the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical, Astronomical Space Administration (PAGASA), ST Rolly is expected to make landfall over Catanduanes early Sunday morning, and will cross the southern Luzon and Metro Manila area from afternoon through evening before exiting land Monday.

Categorized by the U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center as a super typhoon while at sea, it’s now packing maximum sustained winds of 215 kilometers per hour (134 miles per hour) and gusts of up to 265 kilometers per hour.

It will be 10 nautical miles from Manila, its closest point of approach to the capital, at 7 p.m. Sunday.

An average of 20 cyclones pass through disaster-prone Philippines every year, and will likely complicate the nation’s fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19) as hundreds of thousands of people are evacuated from typhoon-hit areas.

Nearly three dozen areas, including Metro Manila, were placed on storm alert. Catanduanes and the eastern portion of Camarines Sur are under the second-highest storm alert, with winds of 171 kilometers to 220 kilometers per hour expected in the next 12 hours. Under this typhoon signal, very heavy damage to high-risk structures and considerable damage to structures of light materials are expected.

The storm can have a “high humanitarian impact,” the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System said on its website, adding that nearly 50 million people are at risk.

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