Typhoon Utor Touches Ground in the Philippines


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Typhoon Utor (referred to as Typhoon Labuyo in the Philippines) hit ground in the northern region of the Philippines at 150 mph around 3 a.m. on Monday, August 12, 2013 local time. Powerful winds, heavy rain, and life-threatening flooding are expected as part of this storm where the northern island of Luzon is expected to receive the brunt of activity.

Typhoon Utor could downgrade to a Category 1 or 2 storm as it continues to travel in a northwest trajectory toward China; however, these types of storms are difficult to predict as traveling over warm water has the potential to actually strengthen this cyclone.

According to the Catanduanes Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) 40 fisherman had originally been pronounced missing as a result of this extreme weather force. While seven of these fisherman have since been accounted for, there are still 33 who remain missing. Many towns have already suffered where the missing fisherman have originated from the following communities: Pandan, Gigmoto, Virac, and Bagamanoc. Reports indicate that these fishermen were aware of the incoming storm.

Emergency response teams have prepped for the impending dangers. Anna Lindenfors of Save the Children had this to say, "The entire Luzon region is braced for heavy winds and rains as the typhoon draws closer. Save the Children is monitoring the situation closely. We have trained staff and partners on the ground ready to mount a response, and pre-made aid packages to distribute if needed. Save the Children knows from experience that children are always the most vulnerable in a disaster and we stand ready to respond to their needs."

Many people living outside of the Philippines are entranced with Typhoon Utor, watching as the system continues to shift with anticipated changes, showing that Mother Nature can be both dangerous and erratic.