Typhoon Yolanda, which is heading towards the Philippines, is being internationally referred to as Haiyan, and it looks like it's going to cause a lot of damage. It has been projected that the storm will reach "super typhoon" level over the course of the next 48 to 60 hours as it makes its way to the Philippines. The storm is expected to arrive on Thursday and make its way to the nation's central area by Friday afternoon. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center, based in Hawaii, stated in a weather forecast, "Due to very favorable environmental conditions, rapid intensification is forecast over the next 48 hours with a peak intensity of 130 knots (241 kilometers per hour)."
The Philippines has taken precautions in order to prepare for the upcoming super storm. The president, Benigno S. C. Aquino III, has asked Defense Secretary Voltaire T. Gazmin to encourage management councils and risk reduction councils across the country to carry out precautions in the face of the storm. Rescue boats, medical supplies, and emergency relief have been posted in high-risk areas in an attempt to combat problems before they can spin out of control.
Classes have already been cancelled in some areas, and suspension of work was ordered yesterday in Mindanao by governor Sol F. Matugas, who went on an urged her citizens to pray, noting that the government would be offering a mass at the convention center on Wednesday. Evacuation plans and emergency services have also been issued in Mindao and other neighboring areas as they prepare for the storm's onslaught. Emergency sirens and bells have been ringing in many of the province's towns and villages.
Herminio B. Coloma, Jr., the Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary, stated at a press meeting, "All concerned government agencies are on heightened alert to ensure swift response to affected residents, especially those in low-lying and flood-prone areas." This writer, in a similar vein, wishes wellness and safety to the Philippine citizens as they prepare and evacuate in the face of such a terrifying natural disaster.[Image courtesy of WikiMedia Commons.]