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Two major storms swirling in the China Sea. Courtesy: NASA

Philippines in line for typhoon hit, second in a week


Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Wednesday, October 19, 2016, 3:19 PM - People in the Philippines are experiencing a direct hit from a powerful category 4 typhoon, days after another typhoon killed at least two people in the archipelago nation.

Typhoon Haima was boasting winds of 220 km/h early morning Thursday (local time), gusting to near 270 km/h. It made landfall on the northern part of Luzon, the Philippines' largest island and home to about half its population. 

After exiting the island, it is expected to weaken, but may still be at typhoon strength for a second landfall Friday near Hong Kong in southern China.

The Philippines is recovering somewhat from an earlier strike by Typhoon Sarika, which pounded the country over the weekend. At last report, at least two people were killed, and more than 200,000 were left without power in the storm's wake.

The storm's next target was the Chinese island of Hainan, which suffered a direct hit from Sarika Tuesday, when the storm was at tropical storm strength.

Still, though weakened, the storm still brought extreme rainfall and strong winds. Al Jazeera reports one city received 258 mm of rainfall over two days, more than half the entire October average.

Flights across the island were cancelled, roads were washed out, and more than half a million people across the island were forced to evacuate, out of a total population of nine million.

Sarika is presently a tropical depression moving inland in southern China, still bringing heavy rains to that area as well as northern Vietnam.

The storm is expected to worsen an already dire situation in northern Vietnam, which received extreme rainfall days before Sarika arrived. Fox News reports the latest death toll at 31, with tens of thousands of people displaced and more than 100,000 homes sustaining heavy flood damage.

SOURCES: Joint Typhoon Warning Center | Al Jazeera | BBC News | Fox News

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