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Friday, October 30, 2009

Mirinae strikes the Philippines

Typhoon Mirinae struck the Philippine island of Luzon this morning (Saturday) local time as a Category 2 storm with sustained winds of 90 mph (145 km/hr) according to the Associated Press. The storm is bringing heavy rain to metro Manila where some areas are still flooded.

Typhoon Mirinae hits Philippines (Al Jazeera)

Typhoon Mirinae has made landfall in eastern Philippines, and is approaching Manila, the capital.

Officials said on Friday that thousands of people have been evacuated from Manila in expectation of the advance of the fourth typhoon to hit the country in the last two months.

Areas of the capital with more than a million residents remain flooded from the recent storms, in which more than 1,000 people died.

Typhoon Mirinae, a category two typhoon with winds of up to 185 kms an hour, is expected to bring heavy showers.

Residents were evacuated from coastal regions as well as metropolitan areas as Mirinae came ashore.

Philippines Orders Evacuations as Typhoon Strikes (Bloomberg)

Philippine authorities carried out evacuations and airlines moved planes to safer locations as Typhoon Mirinae slammed into the archipelago, where about 1,100 people have died in cyclones this year.

Evacuations were ordered in the island province of Catanduanes and the coastal areas of Quezon province, where Mirinae’s eye made landfall, police and disaster agency officials said. The Associated Press said the storm, which came ashore just after midnight, had winds of about 90 mph (145 kph), and was on the same path as a September storm that submerged parts of the capital, Manila.

Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific Air, the nation’s biggest carriers, canceled or delayed flights to and from Manila and said they had moved aircraft to central airports, away from the typhoon’s path. Thousands were stranded as the government banned vessels from taking to sea, according to the Coast Guard.

Mirinae is the 4th typhoon to lash at the northern half of Luzon in the past month but is also the 5th storm to make landfall in this time as Parma crossed three times over the same area. The previous storm to threaten the area, Lupit, made a remarkable U-turn just as it approached the coast. It never made landfall but did dump a fair amount of rain on some of the northern islands before heading to the north and hitting Okinawa.

4th typhoon in month lashes struggling Philippines (USA Today)
The fourth typhoon to lash the Philippines in a month brought pounding rain and winds to the eastern coast early Saturday as it barreled toward Manila along the same path as an earlier storm that left the capital still partially submerged.

Thousands were evacuated from their homes in the eastern province of Quezon, where Typhoon Mirinae made landfall after midnight, as rains threatened to unleash mudslides.

In Manila, residents hunkered down in their homes as rains beat down on dark, deserted streets. The typhoon was expected to pass south of the sprawling city of 12 million later Saturday morning with winds of 93 miles per hour and gusts of up to 115 mph, said chief government forecaster Nathaniel Cruz.

Mirinae was tracking the same route as Tropical Storm Ketsana on Sept. 26 when it dumped the heaviest rains in 40 years in and around Manila — a month's worth in just 12 hours — leaving hundreds dead and thousands stranded in cars, on rooftops and in trees.

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