13M Filipinos to be Affected by Category 5 Typhoon Haiyan, World’s Strongest in 2013
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | November 7, 2013 12:20 PM EST
About 13 million Filipinos stand to get affected by the possible ill effects of Typhoon Haiyan (local name Yolanda), which has morphed into a Category 5 super typhoon, the world's strongest so far in 2013.
As of early Thursday morning, local weather forecasters have reported Typhoon Haiyan have started batting and dumping rain in the eastern and other sections of Mindanao.
Typhoon Haiyan was described by the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) as "violent." It's near-center winds may be at 145 knots (268.54 kph), with gusts already at 175 knots (324.1 kph), according to the United States' Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC). Still, these figures could still change as the super typhoon continues to pack in strength.
Latest update from JTWC shows that Super Typhoon Haiyan has top sustained winds of 170 mph: http://t.co/t9rxxGJIXJ— Hurricane Central (@twc_hurricane) November 6, 2013
Based on the figures, the United Nations Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System is expecting the worst for the people of the Philippines.
"Tropical Cyclone HAIYAN-13 can have a high humanitarian impact based on the maximum sustained wind speed and the affected population and their vulnerability."
"Up to 12.9 million people can be affected by wind speeds of cyclone strength or above," the UN research facility noted. "In addition, 1.7 million people are living in coastal areas below 5m and can therefore be affected by storm surge."
The Joint Research Center by the European Commission said Typhoon Haiyan's storm surge can reach as high as 2.1 metres or around 10 feet.
"The calculations identify the populated places affected by storm surge up to three days in advance, using the forecasted track. When forecasts change, the associated storm surge changes too and alert levels may go up or down," the JRC said.
The Philippines' Department of Science and Technology expects Typhoon Haiyan to make landfall on Samar and Leyte at mid-day on Friday. International weather forecasters predict it will blast the country by Friday morning local time.
The storm, with gust winds recently recorded at 72 mph, is currently in the vicinity of Yap and Palau.
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