Friday, November 8, 2013

Philippines: Update--Breaking News on Typhoon Haiyan, Category 5 Storm

According to The Independent and as a follow-up to my posting of November 7,  Typhoon Haiyan, a category-5 super typhoon, has exacerbated the problems faced by the residents on Bohol island struggling to recover from an earthquake that killed 222 people three weeks ago, according to the Red Cross.
 
Haiyan hit the northern tip of Cebu province and headed northwest towards Boracay Island, both tourist destinations, after lashing the central islands of Leyte and Samar with 170 mph wind gusts and nineteen-foot waves.
 
Power and communications in the three large islands of Samar, Leyte and Bohol were almost completely down, although authorities promised to restore them within 24 hours.

Electrical power was promptly interrupted on Bohol Island following an earthquake on October 15 that killed 222 people when Typhoon Haiyan hit.

COMMENT: Thus far,  at least two people were electrocuted in storm-related accidents, one person was killed by a fallen tree and another was struck by lightning, official reports said.
 
Nearly 720,000 people have been driven from their home.
 
Authorities suspended ferry services and fishing and shut down thirteen airports. Schools, offices and shops in the central regions were closed, with hospitals, soldiers and emergency workers preparing rescue efforts.
 
Forecasters said the typhoon was expected to move out over water south of Mindoro Island Friday evening (November 8) and into the South China Sea on Saturday (November 9), heading toward Vietnam.


Depending on where foreign travelers may be destined for in the Philippines, those en-route to the archipelago should monitor real-time weather channels as well as online and  in print in the Philippines to determine whether it is safe to travel.

Conservatively speaking, my suggestion is that those traveling to the Philippines should delay their visit until at least Sunday (November 10) to ensure that electricity, public services and commerce are up-and-running at your intended destination.