Record-breaking typhoon #Yolanda hits PH

Yahoo Southeast Asia Newsroom

One of the strongest typhoons in the world’s history barreled into the Philippines, leaving death and destruction in its wake.

Super typhoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) hit Samar with packed winds of 195 mph, becoming the strongest cyclone to make landfall in history.

Unlike other Philippine cyclones which usually hit land only once, Yolanda made multiple landfalls, hitting island after island and whipping provinces with strong winds and heavy rains.

International weather monitors have tagged “Yolanda” as a category 5 storm, the most powerful cyclone in the planet this year.

An expert said it is “about as strong as tropical cyclones can get on Earth,” adding that Yolanda had “everything to its favor.”

Yolanda hit central and southern provinces hardest, prodding the state weather bureau to raise the rarely used public storm warning signal number 4 in several areas.

It also affected the provinces of Cebu and Bohol, which are still reeling from the impact of a devastating earthquake in October.

Areas in Southeastern Luzon were meanwhile lashed by huge waves. Metro Manila, though not in the typhoon’s path, has been warned of heavy rains that may lead to floods.

State weather bureau Pagasa expects the storm to pass through Visayas provinces before exiting the Philippines Saturday morning.

Meteorologist Jeff Masters said Haiyan will “steadily decay” as it moves out of the Philippines into Vietnam and Laos.

Church leaders in the predominantly Catholic Philippines have urged followers to match precautionary measures with prayer.

Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma said Filipinos should pray the “Oratio Imperata” for deliverance amid the storm.

Filipinos’ bayanihan spirit meanwhile shone through amid the storm, with many from areas not directly hit by the storm offering help.

Government agencies as well as private organizations have also launched relief operations in affected areas.

Residents in flood and landslide-prone areas as well as coastal communities have been urged to take precautionary measures.

The public has also been told to monitor announcements from local government agencies.

Here is a list of hotline numbers and social network links that you can reach in cases of emergency:

PAGASA - Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration
Hotline: (02) 433- ULAN (433-8526)
Official Website, Twitter, Facebook

NDRRMC - National Disaster Risk Reduction and Mangement Council
Hotline: (02) 911-1406, (02) 912-2665
Official Website, Twitter, Facebook

MMDA - Metro Manila Development Authority
Hotline: 136
Official Website, Twitter, Facebook

DPWH - Department of Public Works and Highway
Hotline: (02) 304-3713

DOTC - Department of Transportation and Communication
Hotline: 7890, (0918) 884-8484
Official Website, Twitter

Philippine Red Cross
Hotline: 143, (02) 911-1876
Official Website, Twitter, Facebook

Keep safe, everyone!