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Typhoon hits the Philippines

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 5/14/20, 12:37 pm

Typhoon Vongfong brought maximum sustained winds of 93 miles per hour when it struck the eastern Philippines on Thursday. The storm made landfall in the town of San Policarpo in the province of Eastern Samar. The government weather agency said it could cause potentially life-threatening coastal flooding as it sweeps north along the country’s chain of islands.

Will the storm affect the fight against COVID-19? Social distancing will be nearly impossible in the Eastern Samar, according to local officials. Many storm evacuation sites are currently serving as quarantine sites, but the government may need to revert them if more people need shelter. Benjamin Ver, the mayor and only doctor in the town of Jipapad, said he has enough face masks for every villager, but a gymnasium and town hall are the only shelters available for the 8,000 residents. The province had no confirmed cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday, but the country as a whole had confirmed 11,876 infections, 790 deaths, and more than 2,000 recoveries.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Angela Lu Fulton’s report on the Philippines’ explosive leader Rodrigo Duterte.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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