Philippine officials ordered thousands of residents in the southern part of the main Luzon island to evacuate on Saturday, October 31 as a category 5 storm, which is believed to be the world's strongest this year, approached the Southeast Asian country. Typhoon Goni, locally called Rolly, with 215 kilometers per hour sustained winds and gusts of up to 265 kph, is expected to make landfall on Sunday, November 1 after it hits the Philippines. It is the strongest typhoon to hit the country since Haiyan in 2013.
In coastal regions and landslide-prone areas in the provinces of Camarines Norte, as well as Camarines Sur, the pre-emptive evacuation has already started. In the country's Alby province, the local government will order the inhabitants of the risky areas to evacuate their residence, Gremil Naz, a local disaster official, said.
Earlier this week when Typhoon Molave, a category 3 storm, hit the country and killed 22 people. It mostly hit the provinces located in the south of the capital Manila. Now, as the Philippines has recorded over 380,000 Coronavirus infection cases and more than 7,000 deaths, the second-highest in Southeast Asia behind Indonesia, authorities are facing issues as social distancing needs to be imposed in evacuation centers ahead of Typhoon Goni's approach.
Filipino Grace America, mayor of Infanta town in Quezon province, said that relief goods, heavy machinery, and personal protective equipment have already placed at key areas but due to the pandemic, their funds for the calamity purposes and exposes aere not sufficient. However, local officials have already canceled port operations and restricted fishers from setting sail.
The typhoon is moving westward at 20 kilometers per hour from the Pacific Ocean. As reported, Goni is expected to bring intense rains over Manila and 14 provinces nearby on Saturday evening. It will also cause floods and landslides.