Workers clean the newly built Aquatics Center as they prepare for the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the New Clark City, Tarlac province, northern Philippines on Nov 21, 2019. (AARON FAVILA/AP)
The Philippines is bracing for floods and landslides from Typhoon Kammuri that may hit its capital just as the nation hosts thousands of athletes participating in the Southeast Asian games.
Kammuri, which means “crown” in Japan, is packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour and gusts of up to 185 kph when it entered Philippine waters at 4 pm Manila time, the nation’s weather bureau said. The storm will be 43 nautical miles from the Philippine capital, its closest point of approach, on Dec 3, according to the US Navy and Air Force’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center.
Kammuri is following a track similar to typhoon Rammasun in July 2014, which killed 106 people in the Philippines and damaged properties worth US$761 million
“The intensification of Kammuri into a super typhoon is less likely at this time but not ruled out,” the nation’s weather bureau said on its website.
The typhoon is expected to make landfall as early as Dec 2, likely bringing heavy rains to Luzon island where the 30th Southeast Asian Games will be held.
“It is likely that Kammuri could impact the Philippines as a powerful typhoon early next week,” Accuweather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty said on its website. He warned of lengthy period of heavy downpour that could lead to flooding and mudslides in hilly terrain.
Kammuri is following a track similar to typhoon Rammasun in July 2014, which killed 106 people in the Philippines and damaged properties worth 38.6 billion pesos (US$761 million), the disaster monitoring agency said. It’s also comparable to typhoon Durian in December 2006, which killed more than 730 people.
The storm can have a “medium humanitarian impact,” the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System said on its website, putting a population of 30.1 million at risk.
The Southeast Asian Games, a regional sporting event where 8,750 athletes are expected to participate, will open on Saturday evening and run through Dec 11. The organizing committee said they have contingency plans if it faces disruption from the storm.
Authorities have suspended schools in several provinces in southern Luzon on Dec 2, the office of civil defense said.
Kammuri is the 20th tropical cyclone to enter the Philippines this year.
HONG KONG NEWS