Philippines: Typhoon Haima

Late Wednesday 19th October 2016, Super Typhoon Haima (also called Lawin) in the Philippines wrought havoc into the north-eastern Philippine coast with ferocious winds and rain that rekindled fears and memories from the catastrophe wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013. Typhoon Haima, which has sustained winds of 225 km/h and gusts of up to 315 km/h, had its landfall in Penablanca town in Cagayan province shortly before midnight. Many villages lost power and intense winds tore roofs off houses.

On 20th October 2016 before dawn, Typhoon Haima was downgraded from a super typhoon into a typhoon. In its bulletin issued at 5 am on October 20, Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) reported that Typhoon Haima slightly weakened as it crossed Apayao, another province that was in the Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal (TCWS No.5). It now has maximum winds of up to 205 km/h and gustiness of up to 285 km/h. However, the state weather bureau, PAGASA, warned that it remains destructive. Based on the profile created by UNOCHA, 100km radius of the typhoon track covers 13 provinces (185 cities/municipalities).

Various transmission lines in Northern Luzon have been cut due to Typhoon Haima, affecting La Union, Isabela, Cagayan, Abra, Benguet, Mountain Province, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino, according to the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. Communication lines remain down and landslides in the national highway in Nueva Ecija rendered the roads impassable. The focus of local authorities as reported is on clearing the roads and restoring basic services.