The storm rapidly intensified on Thursday morning and was upgraded from a typhoon to a super typhoon. By the time it made landfall on Siargao Island on the central east coast, it had reached sustained winds of 260 kilometers per hour (160 miles per hour) with gusts over 300 kilometers per hour (185 miles per hour) — equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic.
Around 198,000 people have already evacuated from their homes to government shelters, the country’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Thursday.
Many preemptive evacuations and storm preparations began earlier in the week as the country began seeing heavy rain. In central Misamis Oriental province, the Agay-ayan River overflowed on Tuesday, flooding streets and homes with muddy brown water.
The storm is expected to travel through the country’s central and southern regions. Some of…