By Rosemarie Francisco MANILA (Reuters) - Around half a million people fled coastal villages and landslide-prone areas in the central Philippines on Friday, a day before a powerful typhoon was expected to hit the island nation where thousands died in a storm 13 months ago. Typhoon Hagupit weakened slightly as it churned slowly across the Pacific, dipping below the category 5 "super typhoon" level, the Philippine weather bureau PAGASA said, but was likely to remain destructive when it hit land on Saturday. Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific cancelled more than 150 flights to central and southern Philippines on Friday and Saturday. Ports shut across the archipelago after the coastguard suspended sea travel. "Over 100,000 families are already in evacuation centers," said Corazon Soliman, Social Welfare secretary. "Multiply it by five (persons per family), that’s 500,000," she said, adding that most of the residents had volunteered to leave. The eastern islands of Samar and Leyte, which are still recovering from last year's super typhoon Haiyan, could be in the firing line again. "I am afraid and scared," said Teresita Aban, a 58-year-old housewife from Santa Rita in Samar province, wiping away tears and trembling. "We're prepared but still fearful. We haven't finished repairing our house. It still has tarpaulin patches -- and here comes another storm." The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction in Geneva said 200,000 people had been evacuated in the central island province of Cebu alone. "Typhoon Hagupit is triggering one of the largest evacuations we have ever seen in peacetime," said spokesman Denis McClean. The eye of the storm hovered 305 km (190 miles) east of Borongan, in Eastern Samar, on Friday afternoon, PAGASA said. Cold, dry Siberian winds blowing from the north had sapped some of its strength, but it was still packing winds of up to 195 kph near the center, with gusts of up to 230 kph. "Although we said it has weakened, 195 kph is still very strong ... We should not be complacent," said Landrico Dalida, Jr. acting deputy administrator for operations at PAGASA. The agency added that the radius of the storm had narrowed slightly to 600 km from 700 km, but said it would still bring torrential rain and 3- to 4-metre storm surges when it slams into Eastern or Northern Samar provinces on Saturday evening. The weather bureau also said the typhoon had veered slightly north and was moving west-northwest towards eastern coasts at around 13 kph. EARLY EVACUATION More than 7,000 people died or went missing when typhoon Haiyan, known locally as Yolanda, tore through the central Philippines in November 2013. The storm, one of the strongest typhoons ever to make landfall in the world, left more than 4 million people homeless or with damaged houses. "It's better to evacuate early ... We don't want to experience what we went through during Yolanda," said Gigi Calne, a housewife seeking shelter with about 3,000 others at a school in Basey, in Samar province, in central Philippines. About 10 million residents of the Bicol and Eastern Visayas regions of the central Philippines are at risk of flooding, storm surges and strong winds as Hagupit hits land. AccuWeather Global Weather Center said more than 30 million people would feel the impact of the typhoon across the Philippines. The weather bureau said 47 provinces in the central Philippines were at risk of strong wind and rains, including Eastern Samar and Leyte, worst-hit by the 250 kph winds and storm surges brought by Haiyan. About 25,000 people still live in tents, shelters and bunkhouses more than a year later. In Tacloban City, Leyte, which accounted for about half of the death toll from Haiyan, about 19,000 people from coastal villages crowded into 26 evacuation centers, said Ildebrando Bernadas of the city's disaster office. "We are expecting to double that once we implement forced evacuations," Bernadas said. (Story refiled to correct name of U.N. spokesman and agency in paras 7-8) (Additional reporting by Jazmin Bonifacio in Samar, Erik dela Cruz and Neil Jerome Morales in Manila and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Editing by Alex Richardson)
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting
Looks like someone understood the assignment!
Kylie Jenner just won Leo season.
- Entertainment Weekly
The show's shop manager broke her silence after History Channel confirmed the longtime cohost wouldn't be returning.
The Keeping Up with the Kardashians alum put her most famous asset on display in new Instagram photos
Best of both worlds.
- In The Know
Being a teacher is hard enough as it is.
- In The Know
Woman slams auto shop after employee allegedly kicked her out over her 'inappropriate' top: 'I didn't think it mattered'
A TikToker is accusing a car inspection station of asking her to wait outside because her shirt was "too inappropriate."
- The Daily Beast
NCISA 20-year-old sailor with a grudge against the U.S. Navy and a failed attempt at becoming a Navy SEAL under his belt is accused of setting an amphibious assault ship ablaze and singlehandedly costing the Navy $30 million in damage.According to an NCIS search warrant affidavit obtained by The Daily Beast, Ryan Sawyer Mays aroused the suspicions of investigators almost immediately after the 40,000-ton USS Bonhomme Richard went up in flames on July 12, 2020, burning for nearly five days and lea
Bill is worth $130 billion, just FYI.
Go Inside Adam Levine and Behati Prinsloo's 'Perfect Sanctuary' Home: 'We Didn't Want a Palatial McMansion'
Adam Levine says the home he and wife Behati Prinsloo bought from Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner for $32 million in 2019 is "a genuine unicorn"
- NBC Sports EDGE
Aaron Robinson takes a look at the biggest winners and losers after the first 24 hours of NBA free agency. What team's have made the biggest splash? (Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports)
- In The Know
Woman allegedly catches her neighbor's disturbing behavior outside her window: 'Pretty sure this is illegal'
She said this is why she keeps her curtains closed.
- Hoops Hype
The Los Angeles Lakers always generate a ton of headlines but this year, that has happened even more as they have added several big names.
- Miami Herald
“It’s purely political at its core.”
- The Daily Beast
Chip Somodevilla/GettyThe prophecy failed in December, in January, and in March. Twice.But now, claim conspiratorial fans of Donald Trump, the fabled month is finally upon us. In August, some of the most fringe voices in the ex-president’s sprawling universe of followers and adjacent conspiracists still seem to think Trump will be reinstated.That is, if the conspiracy theory’s author doesn’t reschedule again.When Trump lost re-election in November, he and some of his more stalwart supporters ins
- ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports
Before training camp got started, a schism was emerging among members of the Buffalo Bills over the issue of the COVID vaccine. At one point, receiver Cole Beasley and defensive end Jerry Hughes squared off on social media. Beasley argued against the vaccine, Hughes argued in favor of it. Peter King explained in his Football [more]
It’s definitely not something we think about often, but we’d be lying if we said the royal family members ’ heights haven’t crossed our mind...
Sweden and Canada have asked Olympic organisers to move what is expected to be a hotly-contested women's gold-medal soccer match on Friday at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium to later in the day to avoid the sweltering heat of the Japanese summer. "I myself have been in contact with (soccer governing body) FIFA today and written to them, so that's about where the situation is today," Marika Domanski Lyfors, the head of Sweden's women's team, told reporters. The Swedish Football Association (SvFF) said it had also written to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) together with Canada to see if the game could be moved.
Online creator Chris Chan arrested on incest charge after leaked audio alleged she had sex with her mother
Christine Weston Chandler, known online as Chris Chan, was arrested on a charge of incest on Sunday after a leaked call spread online.
Although an official fourth stimulus check from the federal government might seem unlikely at this point, states are doing their own part in making sure federal stimulus money gets distributed. As...