Typhoon Hagupit continued to pummel the Philippines on Monday as it cut across some of the areas devasted by Super Typhoon Haiyan more than a year ago.
Winds of up to 195 kilometers per hour toppled trees and power lines, damaging the roofs of some of the temporary shelters built for victims of last year’s disaster and causing power failures in eastern Visayas and southern Luzon, Bloomberg reported.
“Our people are worried that this new calamity is going to stall our recovery” from Haiyan, Tacloban City vice mayor Jerry Yaokasinhe was quoted as saying. Tacloban was one of the cities hardest hit by Haiyan.
Schools in the area and in Metro Manila were suspended Monday as the strongest typhoon to hit the nation this year moved near the capital.
At least three people died in evacuation centers in the central Philippines, authorities reported.
However, the damage wrought by Hagupit – or “whip” in Filipino – was much smaller compared with Haiyan’s devastation.
The government has evacuated nearly 900,000 people from danger zones, the report said.
“Local governments are better prepared” this time, Abigail Valte, spokeswoman of President Benigno Aquino, told DZRB radio. “It’s better to err on the side of prudence and on the side of caution.”
Haiyan killed more than 6,200 people and over 1,000 were left missing in November last year.
According to Germanwatch’s global climate risk index, the Philippines lost at least US$24.5 billion, or 3.8 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, from weather-related events last year.
Haiyan alone caused more than US$13 billion in economic damage, the index showed.
British research firm Maplecroft ranks the Philippines second to Japan for being at-risk from tropical storms.
Hagupit was expected to be 107 kilometers o Manila on Monday night before crossing into the South China Sea and curving southwest toward Vietnam, the report said, citing a forecast by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
– Contact us at [email protected]