New Storm Zoraida Approaches Philippines Days After Typhoon Haiyan Devastates Country

Just days after typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, a new storm threatens the devastated country.

Super typhoon Haiyan is said to be one of the most destructive disasters ever, took lives of 10,000 people and caused massive destructions. Photo: gerard domanguera/Flickr

Tropical depression Zoraida reached the banks of the Filipino island of Mindanao on Monday and is predicted to accelerate in the northwest direction.

“On the forecast track, the core of Zoraida will make landfall along the border of Surigao del Sur and Davao Oriental, passing across Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental on Tuesday afternoon through evening and will traverse the Mindanao Sea early Wednesday morning on its way to the Sulu Sea,” said Rene Paciente, weather forecasting section chief of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA)..

According to meteorologists, the new storm would cause serious landfall in Surigao del Sur Tuesday morning. It will get close to the vicinity of Agusan del Sur as early as this afternoon, and 100 kms southwest of Coron, Palawan tomorrow afternoon.

However, the new weather disaster was not expected to be as powerful as Yolanda, Paciente said.

“It is expected to make landfall as a tropical depression,” he said, adding that a tropical depression is harder to track than a typhoon.

“Zoraida is not a behaved storm and has erratic movement,” Paciente explained.

Meanwhile, the Phillippines are still devastated by the super typhoon that hit the region.

About 10,000 people are said to be killed by the storm – with the armed forces confirming death toll of 942 as of Monday afternoon. Information is beginning to trickle out from previously cut-off towns, The Telegraph reports.

“The situation is bad, the devastation has been significant. In some cases the devastation has been total,” the secretary to the cabinet, Rene Almendras, told a news conference.

“The only reason why we have no reports of casualties up to now is that communications systems … are down,” reported Colonel John Sanchez of the Philippines armed forces after posting aerial pictures of apocalyptic scenes in Guiuan, eastern Samar, where Haiyan first made landfall.

“One hundred percent of the structures either had their roofs blown away or sustained major damage.”

The World Food Programme estimated that about 4.5 million people have been affected by the disaster.

Authorities managed to evacuate about 800,000 people before the typhoon crashed upon the country – but many died in evacuation centres, which appeared to be unable to stand winds that reached 275kph (170mph) and storm surges of up to 6 metres (20ft).

The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations Organisation intends to launch a large-scale humanitarian plan on Tuesday. He urged UN member states to show solidarity with the people of the Philippines.

“We have all seen the heartbreaking images of the impact of this huge storm,” he said.

The Philippines historically has been vulnerable to natural disasters – the country was recovering from last month’s 7.2-magnitude quake in central Bohol province when the typhoon hit the region.

However, super storm Haiyan is believed to be the deadliest on record for the country of 96 million people. About 5,100 died when typhoon Thelma hit the central Philippines in 1991, while 5,791 died in a 1976 earthquake and resulting tsunami.

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