One dead as Super Typhoon Megi makes landfall in Philippines

Monday, October 18, 2010

Satellite image of Megi
Image: NASA.

One man is confirmed drowned in a river as Super Typhoon Megi, also known as Juan, makes landfall in the Philippines. Megi is the strongest typhoon to strike the country this year.

A change in direction sees warnings for the capital, Manila, decrease to level one – an alert indicating winds around 60 km/h (35 mph) are probable.

Megi is currently a super typhoon with winds in excess of 190 km/h (120 mph). It is estimated that Megi could damage up to 60% of the rice crop in the Cagayan valley on the main island of Luzon, producer of about one-third of the rice for the country.

The typhoon has brought strong winds and heavy rains to two coastal northern provinces, knocking out power and forcing the cancellation of flights. The head of the national disaster agency, Benito Ramos, states 3,000 people have been evacuated from Cagayan. Officials have also warned that extensive damage is likely.

Reports state that landslides have blocked roads in the Apayao province, Luzon. The confirmed casualty was a farmer, washed away by a river.

Officials are warning residents of the possibility of rough seas, flash floods and landslides. The president of the Philippines has called an emergency cabinet meeting in a military base in Manila to review disaster preparations; thousands of soldiers are on standby, ready to deliver aid to those affected.