Super typhoon Goni batters parts of Philippines; kills 20

 Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Powerful super typhoon Goni recently lashed on the eastern part of Philippines, being the most powerful typhoon to hit the country this year killing at least 20 and destroying tens of thousands of homes. The super typhoon mainly hit the island province of Catanduanes at dawn with sustained winds of 225 km per hour and gusts of 280 km per hour.

The strength of the storm was equivalent to a Category-5 hurricane which can be considered as the strongest to be reported from any part of the world this year, as mentioned by experts. Initially it was forecasted that the typhoon would make its way through the densely populated regions in the Philippines.

According to reports from officials federal government authorities had evacuated almost a million people from its projected path as a precautionary measure against the typhoon. Alongside Catanduanes Island, nearby Albay province on the most populous island of Luzon was majorly affected by the typhoon. Heavily powerful winds and torrential rain disrupted power lines and cut off communication in the highly impacted areas. Goni also triggered flooding and cause landslides that damaged houses as the typhoon passed through the southern part of Luzon.

Hundreds of thousands of people fled their homes ahead of the typhoon and many of them remained in evacuation centres as authorities worked to restore power and telecommunications services in the hardest-hit areas. Fourteen deaths were recorded in Albay province, with seven victims present in a town that was hit by a landslide of volcanic ash from the nearby active Mayon volcano.

Six other people died when Goni made landfall on Catanduanes itself and was ranked as a “super typhoon”. The mayor of Guinobatan informed in a press statement that nearly 150 houses were destroyed with several being completely ruined. Authorities from Catanduanes also reported that majority of infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.

After wrecking havoc in parts of the Philippines, Goni wslightly weakened on impacting the central parts of the island nation to the South of Lipa city. It lost much of its intensity as it passed over the capital Manila and headed out to the South China Sea. Richard Gordon, Red Cross Chief, Philippines shared that authorities are horrified by the devastation caused by the typhoon in many areas including Catanduanes Island and Albay. He informed that up to 90% homes have been badly damaged or destroyed in some areas and shared that the typhoon caused major damage to people’s lives and livelihoods on top of the severe effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Days after the Super Typhoon Goni, experts have asked Philippines to prepare for another severe tropical storm Atsani that is expected to pass over the vicinity of Batanes province or Babuyan Islands with a peak intensity of 120 kilometers. Goni has killed more than 20 individuals so far and destroyed several properties worth nearly $141 million as well as houses and agriculture.

As a demonstration of solidarity with the Philippines, the European Union has decided to mobilize immediate humanitarian assistance by providing critical support to the affected areas and helping residents to meet their immediate needs and restoring their homes and livelihood. On the other hand, the UAE has also allocated Dh35 million to provide aid to the affected individuals.

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