Philippines hit by Super Typhoon Noru; winds of at least 185 km/h expected

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Philippines hit by Super Typhoon Noru; winds of at least 185 km/h expected

< p class="sc-v64krj-0 knjbxw">The Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons each year, a phenomenon that tends to worsen due to climate change, according to scientists.

Super Typhoon Noru began battering the Philippines on Sunday, raising fears of flooding and crop destruction and prompting thousands to evacuate their homes.

In the afternoon, Super Typhoon Noru has begun inflicting strong winds and heavy rains on the heavily populated main island of Luzon.

According to the Philippine Meteorological Service, Noru hit land at 5:30 p.m. local time in the municipality of Burdeos, on the Polillo Islands, which are part of the province of Quezon.

Accompanied by winds of 195 km/h, Noru, called Karding in the Philippines, is the most powerful typhoon recorded this year in this country. It strengthened with unprecedented speed, according to the National Weather Service.

The Philippine Weather Service issued an alert on Sunday evening predicting severe flooding in highly exposed areas and vulnerable people in the capital, Manila, and nearby provinces.

We urge residents of endangered areas to heed calls to evacuate when necessary, said Philippine Police Chief General Rodolfo Azurin.

The winds were strong this morning, said Ernesto Portillo, 30, who works as a cook in the coastal township of Infanta, Quezon province.

Authorities have issued evacuation alerts for residents.

We are a bit worried, he added. We secured our belongings and went shopping for food in case we needed it.

The Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons every year, a phenomenon that tends to get worse due to climate change, scientists say.

Nine months ago, another super-typhoon killed more than 400 people in the center and south of the country.

A typhoon is called a super-typhoon when its winds exceed a certain speed, the threshold varying according to national meteorological services (in the Philippines, this threshold is 185 km/h).

The speed of the winds accompanying Noru has increased by 90 km/h in just 24 hours, an unprecedented intensification, estimated weather forecaster Robb Gile.

Typhoons are like engines: they need fuel and an exhaust to run, Mr. Gile explained.

According to him, Noru has good fuel because it has plenty of warm waters along its path and it has good exhaust in the upper layers of the atmosphere. This is a good recipe for explosive intensification.

According to the weather service, wind speeds could reach 205 km/h by the time the super-typhoon, which originated in the Pacific Ocean, makes landfall.

The service warned of floods, landslides and strong waves in the affected areas. Schools will remain closed on Monday and maritime traffic has been suspended.

In the Manila region, hit by the typhoon 100 km northeast of the capital where 13 million people reside, compulsory evacuations were underway in a few high-risk areas, including slums located along the rivers.

An evacuation center to accommodate the displaced

I evacuated the house where I live because I'm afraid of the rapidly rising waters, said Gloria Pérez, 68, who is part of a group hosted in tents set up under the roofs of a basketball court. I've been through this before and I don't want to go through it again.

Dozens of flights to or from the Philippine capital were suspended on Monday.

More than 8,300 people left their homes ahead of the typhoon, including residents of several townships in Quezon province, authorities said.

In neighboring Aurora province, residents of Dingalan municipality have also been sent to shelters.

People who live near the coast have been told to evacuate. We live far from the coast so we stayed. We are more worried about the water coming from the mountains, said Rhea Tan, 54, a restaurateur in Dingalan.

The typhoon is expected to weaken as it passes over Luzon Island before heading away in the South China Sea on Monday towards Vietnam.

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