Vongfong, the first typhoon of the season, devastated several islands in the central Philippines by making landfall six times in the first 24 hours of passing through the country, while awaiting its arrival in Manila on Friday.
The typhoon carries “destructive winds and heavy rains,” reported in its latest bulletin Pagasa, the Philippine meteorological agency, which raised the alarm to level 3 (out of a total of 4) in the southern provinces of the island of Luzon; and level 2 in the downtown area, where the metropolitan area of Manila is located.
Vongfong weakened slightly after making landfall six times, with winds of 125 km / h and gusts of up to 165 km / h, compared to gusts of 180 km / h detected yesterday by Pagasa in the central zone of the Philippines, where the provinces of Samar Norte and Sorsogon are without electricity and incommunicado.
Despite having weakened slightly, the wind speed accompanying the typhoon can be fatal as it approaches Manila, where a quarter of its 13 million inhabitants live crowded into shantytowns.
The National Center for Disaster Risk Reduction said today that it does not yet have an accurate report of damage and possible victims due to difficulties in communicating with the small island provinces that the typhoon has already left behind, but it does hope that “the impact has been high”.
The typhoon, baptized locally Ambo, entered the Philippines on Thursday through the town of San Policarpio, on the island of Samar, where some 400,000 live in low-lying and coastal areas, especially vulnerable to the passage of the storm, whose strength is equivalent to a hurricane category 4.
Vongfong travels at a speed of 15 kilometers per hour as he heads toward the northern Philippines, whose area of responsibility is expected to leave Tuesday morning for Japan.
An average of 20 typhoons hit the Philippines each year, and the most destructive was the super typhoon Haiyan, which in November 2013 hit the islands of Samar and Leyte, killing some 7,000 people and leaving 200,000 families homeless.