Typhoon Bopha created havoc in Philippines on Tuesday, killing 74 people while rendering 40,000 people scurrying around to look for government shelters. This by far, is the strongest storm in Philippines in 2012.
Causalities were reported in the Mindanao Island and the Leyte where people died from uprooting trees and being swept into the water currents. The winds were seen lashing furiously at the rate of 130 miles an hour or 210 kilometers per hour.
The areas in the island that were not hit by typhoons went without power, as power lines were shut in order to minimize the risk of fire and electric shocks. People who lived in the nearby coastal area were asked to stay in makeshift shelters in the form of government buildings and schools
In Takum, a 244,000 strong population city, a young hotel waiter, Edgie Atilano, 23 recounted the incident that his family witnessed. “At 3:00 am we were woken by strong rain and howling winds. Trees and branches started snapping off near the house. This is my first time to experience a strong typhoon. It was a bit scary.”
There were some people who did not agree to vacate the house, in spite of staying in low lying areas. The police had to undertake compulsory evacuation. City mayor Vicente Emano of Cagayan de Oro, a city that has more than of 570,000 people, said, “There were people who refused to leave their homes yesterday. Now those areas are under code red (flood risk) so I ordered the police to go and force them to leave because these areas could soon be flooded.”
Schools have been shut in Mindanao and in many areas of central Philippines, and most of them are now evacuation centers and places to offer relief. The storm did weaken in the later course of the day, moving northwest. The island of Negros were affected by heavy rainfall but not evacuations were ordered there.
Philippines is a typhoon prone area, getting as many as 20 annually. 2011 recorded 1,500 deaths from cyclones which affected nearly 10 percent of the population.
Typhoon Bopha in Pictures