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Typhoon Vongfong is the first to hit Philippines this year

About 200,000 people were evacuated in coastal and mountainous areas by Philippines authorities because of fears of flooding and landslides as Typhoon Vongfong, known as Ambo in the Philippines ,the first to hit the country in the Western Pacific this year, made landfall on Thursday.

It packed winds of 95 kph and  strong gusts. This is  the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale but it has rapidly intensified and could even approach the equivalent strength of a Category 4 hurricane prior to approaching the Philippines. Rainfall amounts of 100 to 250 mm (four to 10 inches) will impact vast areas of the Visayas and Bicol Regions through northern Luzon. Catastrofic damage is possible. Power outages are expected. The JTWC warned that maximum wave heights of 25 feet are possible from the storm.Evacuation centers are also in schools and social distance rules arpply. uthorities told people in areas in the path of the Category 2 typhoon to brace for intense rain and to be on alert for landslides, storm surges and floods.

typhoon-map-Philippines

A tropical cyclone is defined by NOAA as a rotating "organized system of clouds and thunderstorms" that originates over tropical or subtropical waters and has a closed low-level circulation. Many storms undergo rapid intensification each year due to the extremely warm sea surface temperatures. The Philippines are located in the prime breeding grounds of the tropical Pacific. In an average year, the region is impacted by eight to nine storms.

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