(ETH) – Super Typhoon “Goni” has made landfall in the Philippines over Bato, Catanduanes with maximum sustained winds of a terrifying 140 mph and gusts to 174 mph — which has made it equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
According to records, this storm is now the strongest tropical cyclone of the year and the strongest to strike the Philippines since Super Typhoon “Haiyan” that left more than 6 300 people dead in 2013. Goni, also known as Rolly in the Philippines, has now become the 6th tropical cyclone to strike the Philippines since October 1st and this storm has forced the evacuation of over one million people before making landfall.
Since making landfall at least 4 casualties in the Bicol region have been reported, power outages, flash floods, and widespread damage as well. The deaths included one person who was struck by a tree and a 5-year-old child washed away after a river overflowed. Bicol Governor Al Francis Bichara stated that he also received reports of volcanic mudflows, as well as electricity supply and communication service outages.
“We are expecting major damage,” said Ricardo Jalad, head of the Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). “There are so many people who are really in vulnerable areas.” Officials there have warned that catastrophic violent winds and intense to torrential rainfall associated with the region of the eyewall and inner rainbands of this typhoon are expected within the next 12 hours over the western portion of Camarines Sur, Marinduque, the central and southern portions of Quezon, Laguna, the eastern portion of Batangas, and Cavite.