Philippines typhoon forces millions to leave homes

Philippines typhoon forces millions to leave homes (PressTV, Dec 5, 2014):

Millions of people in the eastern parts of the Philippines have been forced to evacuate their homes ahead of the arrival of the massive Typhoon Hagupit.

“All resources are being mobilized,” regional civil defense director Bernardo Alejandro said, adding that evacuations began on Friday with local government and military trucks deployed to transport people to the shelters.

Authorities said more than 500,000 families with as many as 2.5 million people would be evacuated from the eastern province of Samar and sheltered in churches, schools and other makeshift evacuation centers.

Typhoon Hagupit, locally named “Ruby,” which has the speed of up to 250 kilometers per hour (155 miles per hour) is expected to land on the coastal areas by Saturday.

Schools and government offices have been closed in the eastern city of Tacloban, one of the areas which were massively devastated by Haiyan and still face its aftereffects.

More than one year after Haiyan hit the city, thousands of families are still living in tents and temporary shelters.

Various forecasts are being made about the potential path the typhoon would take in the coming days, with some saying it could miss the Philippines altogether and veer north toward Japan.

Japan estimates, however, that Hagupit would directly hit the central Philippines.

Statistics suggest that the Philippines is struck by more than 20 typhoons each year, with most of the storms hitting the country’s north along the main island of Luzon.

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