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World

October 20, 2016

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Millions in Philippines on alert for typhoon

Millions in Philippines on alert for typhoon

MANILA: Millions of people in the Philippines were on high alert on Wednesday for one of the strongest typhoons to ever hit the disaster-battered country, with authorities warning of giant storm surges and destructive winds.

Super Typhoon Haima was forecast to hit remote communities in the far north of the country about 11:00 pm (1500 GMT) on Wednesday, bringing winds almost on a par with catastrophic Super Typhoon Haiyan that claimed more than 7,350 lives in 2013.

"We only pray we be spared the destruction such as the previous times, which brought agony and suffering," President Rodrigo Duterte said in Beijing, where he is currently on a four-day visit. "But we are ready. Everything has been deployed."

Haima has a weather band of 800 kilometres putting more than 10 million people across the northern parts of the Philippines´ main island of Luzon within its reach, according to the government´s disaster risk management agency.

Haima was approaching the Philippines with sustained winds of 225 kilometres an hour and gusts of 315 kilometres an hour, according to the state weather bureau.

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