WCHS Eyewitness News Home Charleston Eyewitness Newsroom Charleston Storm Team Weather Sports News TV Program Schedule Community Mobile: Smartphone,Tablet and SMS text Get Connected SMS Text Facebook Twitter See-It,Shoot-It RSS News Feed Email List Tumblr


Year's Strongest Typhoon Blasts Philippines

Reported by: Send eMail Associated Press
Web Producer: Bethany Simmons
Reported: Nov. 8, 2013 9:09 AM EST
Updated: Nov. 8, 2013 9:19 AM EST

Photo Courtesy CNN
Photo Courtesy CNN

Manila, Philippines

The strongest typhoon this year slammed into the central Philippines on Friday, setting off landslides and knocking out power and communication lines in several provinces. At least four people died.

Huge, fast-paced Typhoon Haiyan raced across a string of islands from east to west -- Samar, Leyte, Cebu and Panay-- and lashed beach communities with more than 125 mph winds. Nearly 720,000 people were forced to evacuate their homes.

Due to cut-off communications, it was impossible to know the full extent of casualties and damage. 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.

Southern Leyte Gov. Roger Mercado said the super typhoon triggered landslides that blocked roads, uprooted trees and ripped roofs off houses around his residence.

The dense clouds and heavy rains made the day seem almost as dark as night, he said.

"When you're faced with such a scenario, you can only pray, and pray and pray," Mercado told The Associated Press by telephone, adding that mayors in the province had not called in to report any major damage.

"I hope that means they were spared and not the other way around," he said. "My worst fear is there will be massive loss of lives and property."

Weather officials said Haiyan had sustained winds of 147 mph with gusts of 170 mph when it made landfall. That makes it the strongest typhoon this year, said Aldczar Aurelio of the government's weather bureau.

Eduardo del Rosario, head of the disaster response agency, said a typhoon of similar strength that hit the Philippines in 1990 killed 508 people and left 246 missing, but this time authorities had taken pre-emptive evacuation and other measures to minimize casualties.

The Philippines, which is hit by about 20 typhoons and storms a year, has in recent years become more serious about preparations to reduce deaths. Public service announcements are more frequent as are warnings issued by the president and high-ranking officials, regularly carried on radio and TV and social networking sites.

Provincial governors and mayors have taken a hands-on approach during crises, supervising evacuations, inspecting shelters and efforts to stockpile food and relief supplies.

By 5 p.m. Friday, the typhoon -- one of the strongest storms ever -- was centered to the west of Aklan province on Panay Island, 200 miles south of Manila, after blasting the island resort of Boracay.

Forecasters said it was expected to move out over water south of Mindoro island Friday evening and into the South China Sea on Saturday, heading toward Vietnam.

Among the evacuees were thousands of residents of Bohol who had been camped in tents and other makeshift shelters after a magnitude-7.2 earthquake hit the island province last month.

Jeff Masters, a former hurricane meteorologist who is meteorology director at the private company Weather Underground, said the storm was poised to be the strongest tropical cyclone ever recorded at landfall. He warned of "catastrophic damage."

But he said the Philippines might get a small break because the storm is so fast moving that flooding from heavy rains -- usually the cause of most deaths from typhoons in the Philippines -- may not be as bad.

The U.S. Navy's Joint Typhoon Warning Center said shortly before the typhoon made landfall that its maximum sustained winds were 195 mph, with gusts up to 235 mph. Those measurements are different than local weather data because the U.S. Navy center measures the average wind speed for 1 minute while local forecasters measure the average for 10 minutes.

Hurricane Camille, a powerful 1969 storm, had wind speeds that reached 190 mph at landfall in the United States, Masters said.

President Benigno Aquino III assured the public of war-like preparations, with three C-130 air force cargo planes and 32 military helicopters and planes on standby, along with 20 navy ships.

Associated Press writers Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, and Seth Borenstein in Washington contributed to this report.



MORE NEWS FROM EYEWITNESS NEWS
Battling Meth At The Point Of Sale
News
Jul. 22, 2014 11:32 PM EDT
Deputies spent hours investigating an abandoned meth ...
Full News Story and Video

Huntington Man Arrested for Allegedly Soliciting a Minor Online
News
Jul. 22, 2014 10:44 PM EDT
Police arrested a man Tuesday afternoon, for allegedly ...
Full News Story

Mason Co. Case Serves As Important Reminder On Child Nutrition Needs
News
Jul. 22, 2014 10:30 PM EDT
The investigation continues into a disturbing case ...
Full News Story and Video


News Community Responds To Child Neglect Case
Jul. 22, 2014 9:35 PM EDT
News Bus Company Decision Nails The Coffin Shut On Saturday Event
Jul. 22, 2014 7:36 PM EDT
News Freedom Bankruptcy Deal On Hold
Jul. 22, 2014 6:10 PM EDT
News Milton Seeing Economic Boom
Jul. 22, 2014 5:49 PM EDT
News Dirty Girl Mud Run For Charleston Officially Canceled
Jul. 22, 2014 5:42 PM EDT
News Fayette County Man Killed After Pinned Under Truck
Jul. 22, 2014 4:54 PM EDT
News The Greenbrier Releases Details For Fans Interested In Attending New Orleans Saints' Practices, Picnic
Jul. 22, 2014 8:12 PM EDT
News Medicare Workshop Offers Information, Expert Consultation
Jul. 22, 2014 4:22 PM EDT
News MU To Paint The Capital City Green
Jul. 22, 2014 4:07 PM EDT
News Multifest Announces Schedule For 2014
Jul. 22, 2014 8:52 PM EDT
News Pregnant Teen Strangled, Man Decapitated In Online Sex Case
Jul. 22, 2014 3:06 PM EDT
News Milton Police Seek Information On Telephone Cable Theft
Jul. 22, 2014 2:28 PM EDT
News Meningitis Diagnosis Prompted WV Clinic Probe
Jul. 22, 2014 2:10 PM EDT
News Mountaineers To Face Tennessee In Football In 2018
Jul. 22, 2014 1:55 PM EDT
News Surveillance Photos Released In South Charleston Robbery
Jul. 22, 2014 12:53 PM EDT
News WVU Baseball Player Signs With Pro Team
Jul. 22, 2014 12:37 PM EDT
News One Man Injured In East End Shooting
Jul. 22, 2014 6:16 PM EDT
News Well-Being Of WV Children Improves; State Ranks 37th
Jul. 22, 2014 11:32 AM EDT
News Independent Ed Rabel To Seek Congressional Seat
Jul. 22, 2014 11:17 AM EDT
News Wayne County Schools Names Superintendent
Jul. 22, 2014 1:22 PM EDT
News Annual River Float Expected To Make Big Splash Saturday
Jul. 22, 2014 11:00 AM EDT
News Trailer Owner Finds Abandoned Meth Lab Near Backyard
Jul. 22, 2014 10:25 AM EDT
News WV Inmate Who Escaped In May Captured In VA
Jul. 22, 2014 9:16 AM EDT
News Former Mercer County Teacher Pleads Guilty To Sex Charges
Jul. 22, 2014 9:22 AM EDT
News Freedom Industries In Bankruptcy Court Tuesday
Jul. 22, 2014 7:54 AM EDT
News Baby Dies From Malnutrition After Police Say Parents Used WIC Money To Buy Drugs
Jul. 21, 2014 11:53 PM EDT
News Women Express Outrage Over Dirty Girl Mud Run Flap
Jul. 22, 2014 7:44 AM EDT
News Shoppers Travel Across Counties To Shop At Newly Expanded Kroger
Jul. 22, 2014 12:56 PM EDT
News Livestock Competition Big Part Of Cabell County Fair
Jul. 22, 2014 11:06 AM EDT
News Local Sporting Goods Store Thriving
Jul. 22, 2014 1:18 PM EDT


Advertise on WCHS-TV Online

West Virginia News
W.Va. gas price tumble

West Virginia gas prices are down about a nickel a gallon.
Full Story

Kentucky News
Interstate closes after bee-carrying truck crashes

Police say a semi flat-bed truck hauling beehives has crashed, causing eastbound Interstate 24 to close near the Kentucky-Tennessee state line at Clarksville, Tennessee.
Full Story

Ohio News
Toddler, man shot at backyard gathering in Ohio

Police say a toddler was one of two people wounded by gunfire during a backyard gathering in northeastern Columbus.
Full Story







Fugitive Files Tuesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

West Virginia Wildlife Wednesdays at 6 PM on Eyewitness News

ABC News web site







Send Mail Send email to news@wchstv.com for information or comments concerning WCHS-TV Eyewitness News.
Copyright ©2014, WCHS-TV8. Portions are Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or distributed.

WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.