By Leigha Wentz,
International News Editor
Filipino President Benigno Aquino placed his country on high alert on Saturday October 17 ahead of the expected arrival of Typhoon Koppu.
Known as “Lando” in the Phillipines, Typhoon Koppu is expected to make landfall on Sunday, bringing maximum winds of approximately 120 mph and as much as 6 feet of rain to parts of the Phillipine archipelago, according to NBC.
The Weather Channel has warned that the slow-moving storm could cause major flooding, with senior digital meteorologist Nick Wiltgen calling for major rainfall in the region of Luzon, home to about half of the country’s population.
“Luzon could be looking at 4 to 6 days of heavy rainfall form Koppu/Lando before what’s left of it finally drifts farther north,” he wrote in a statement quoted by NBC. “With rain rates in tropical cyclones typically in excess of 2 inches per hour and additional lift for the moist air provided by Luzon’s mountainous terrain, extreme storm totals of 20 to 40 inches are likely across much of northern Luzon.”
The BBC reports that local authorities have been contacted regarding the evacuation of residents in areas with high risks of flooding. The Philippines is still struggling to recover from Super Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, which resulted in the deaths of over 6,300 people.
Speaking in a television address, Mr. Aquino called for those living in the typhoon’s path to pay attention to government warnings and prepare for a possible evacuation, adding that aid agencies had already circulated emergency supplies to evacuation centers.
“Your government is here to help us achieve zero casualties,” Mr. Aquino said, as quoted by the BBC. “But I must emphasize, each local government unit, community and Filipino that will be affected has the duty to co-operate in the collective action we are taking to overcome the challenges ahead… We have assets at the ready… to respond to any eventuality. However, we are dealing with nature so we don’t really know what will happen.”
Typhoon Koppu is expected to remain in the Philippines until Tuesday before moving towards Taiwan.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 20th print edition.
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