„This a particularly dangerous situation for these areas,” it said in a bulletin at 0000 GMT.The capital Manila was also in the projected path of Goni, the 18th tropical storm in the country.A third landfall was expected to hit Quezon province later in the day, weather forecaster Lorie dela Cruz told a radio station.Between 19 million and 31 million people could be affected, including those in danger zones, the disaster management agency said.Storm surge alerts have been issued, while officials have also reminded those in evacuation centres to observe social distancing as the coronavirus spread is also a concern.Dozens of international and domestic flights have been cancelled as the civil aviation authority ordered a one-day closure of Manila’s main gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.Goni is among the strongest typhoons to hit the Philippines since Haiyan, which killed more than 6,300 people in 2013.It follows Typhoon Molave, which hit the Philippines last month killing 22 people, mostly through drowning in provinces south of Manila.(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz; Editing by William Mallard)
World Super typhoon slams into Philippines, 1 million evacuated by JIM GOMEZ•Philippines Asia Typhoon
Manila’s main airport was ordered shut down for 24 hours from Sunday to Monday and airlines canceled dozens of international and domestic flights. The military and national police, along with the coast guard and firefighters, have been put on full alert.
About 1,000 COVID-19 patients were moved to hospitals and hotels from tent quarantine and treatment centers in the capital and the northern province of Bulacan, Jalad said. More emergency shelters would be opened than usual to avoid congestion that can rapidly spark infections.
The war-like typhoon preparations will further strain government resources, which have been drained with months of coronavirus outbreaks that prompted the government to set up isolation and treatment centers when hospitals were overwhelmed and provide aid to more than 20 million poor Filipinos.
The Philippines has reported more than 380,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the second-highest in Southeast Asia, with 7,221 deaths.
Displaced villagers may have to stay longer in evacuation centers even after Goni exits Tuesday due to another storm brewing in the Pacific that may affect the Philippines in a few days, Jalad said.
The Philippines is lashed by about 20 typhoons and storms a year. It’s also located in the so-called Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a seismically active region around the Pacific where earthquakes and volcanic eruptions are common and makes the impoverished Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million people one of the world’s most disaster-prone.
Associated Press journalists Aaron Favila and Joeal Calupitan contributed to this report.