Thousands Evacuate As Typhoon Approaches

Category: World / Dec 03, 2012 2:28PM EDT
Thousands of people living in coastal communities fled their homes on Monday (December 3) in anticipation of a strong typhoon forecast to hit southern Philippines within 24 hours. Typhoon Bopha, with winds of 108 mph and gusts of up to 130 mph, is expected to make landfall early on Tuesday (December 4). A fire truck sounded its siren as it drove around in the city , warning residents of the approaching typhoon, locally named Pablo. Residents boarded trucks with their children and possessions and headed to basketball courts and school buildings that served as temporary shelters. Coast guard and rescue personnel in the southern Philippines were preparing rubber boats, lifesavers and emergency supplies in anticipation of the typhoon's arrival. The storm cloud approaching the country was 370 miles in diameter, and it would bring heavy rain that could cause floods and landslides. Disaster authorities have suspended ferries, banned small fishermen from going to sea, closed schools and suspended small-scale mining operations. Emergency shelters have been set up and soldiers, police and emergency workers are evacuating the entire coastal area in some regions. About 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year, often causing death and destruction.