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Super Typhoon Hagupit Takes Aim At The Philippines

This image captured by NASA's Aqua satellite shows Typhoon Hagupit on Wednesday in the western Pacific Ocean.
This image captured by NASA's Aqua satellite shows Typhoon Hagupit on Wednesday in the western Pacific Ocean.

Super Typhoon Hagupit is gathering strength in the Western Pacific and threatening to deal another significant blow to the Philippines.

The Weather Channel reports that the tropical cyclone is already significant:

"At 8 p.m. EST Wednesday, the U.S. military's Joint Typhoon Warning Center estimated Hagupit's maximum sustained 1-minute wind speed at 180 mph, putting it in a tie with Super Typhoons Vongfong and Nuri in October as the most powerful typhoon of 2014. Hagupit is now the equivalent of a high-end Category 5 hurricane.

"Around the same time, the Japan Meteorological Agency declared Hagupit a 'violent' typhoon, the highest classification on its scale, with 10-minute sustained winds of 120 mph."

This is, of course, a huge concern for the Philippines, because some parts of the island chain are still recovering from Super Typhoon Haiyan, which the BBC notes was the "most powerful typhoon ever recorded over land."

The BBC adds:

"Hagupit is not expected to be as powerful as Haiyan, but could bring storm surges up to one storey high.

"The vice-mayor of Tacloban, the city which was worst hit by Haiyan, said the authorities were enforcing evacuation orders.

" 'We have no more excuse, we have gone through Yolanda, and to lose that many lives, it's beyond our conscience already,' Jerry Yaokasin told reporters on Wednesday."

Hagupit is forecast to make landfall on Saturday local time, which means Friday on the U.S. clock.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.

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