On Tuesday, a powerful typhoon battered the southern coast of the Philippines, causing flooding and uprooted trees and leaving many in the region without power.
The approach of typhoon Bopha, which officials say is the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines this year, prompted more than 41,000 residents in high-risk areas to evacuate. As the typhoon made landfall in the southern Philippines, winds of up to 210 kilometers per hour (130 miles per hour) were recorded.
Thankfully, officials say that reports of damage, injuries, and casualties have thus far been minimal. One official, civil defense chief Benito Ramos, did say that emergency personnel were investigating for casualties resulting from a landslide in the Compostela Valley province, the Associated Pressreports.
The head of the Catholic Relief Services in the Philippines, Joe Curry, says that the government was better-equipped to deal with the powerful typhoon after Tropical Storm Washi, which tragically killed more than 1,200 people when it made landfall last year.
“So far there’s been more preparedness efforts at this time…but I think we’re going to see the damage [reports] come out later today and tomorrow,” said Curry. “I know there’s been a lot of efforts at evacuating, but we’ll have to see how the infrastructure holds up.”
The typhoon has reportedly weakened since moving further inland. Its movement has begun to slow down, and government forecaster Jori Loiz reports that Bopha’s winds have begun to calm.
As a result of the typhoon, at least 80 domestic flights have been canceled, and all ships along the coast of the Philippines were ordered to stay in port. So far, three casualties have been confirmed. Officials suspect that more will be found.
[Image credit: Reuters]