posted at 22:50
Author Name: Imelda Magbutay
Rains lash disaster-weary Philippines as typhoon nears
More than 600,000 people in coastal areas were in evacuation centres according to the government, and many others were expected to pour in throughout Saturday amid warnings of house-destroying winds, giant storm surges and landslides. Many communities in the central Philippines are still battling to recover from Super Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful storm ever recorded on land, which left more than 7,350 people dead or missing in November last year. In Tacloban, one of the cities worst-hit by Haiyan's monster winds and tsunami-like storm surges, thousands of people on Saturday crammed into schools, churches and other evacuation centres. "We are afraid. People are panicking," Alma Gaut, 36, whose house was destroyed and mother died during Haiyan, told AFP as she huddled in the second floor of a university with more than 1,000 other people. More than 10,000 people had been ordered into safe buildings, according to mayor Stephany Uy-Tan. "There are always some people who say the wind is not yet that strong, that there is still no rain... we just have to explain that there is a huge possibility of a storm surge." In the eastern region of Bicol alone, authorities said they were aiming for 2.5 million people - half the local population - to be in evacuation centres by Saturday night. The previous strongest storm this year was Rammasun, which killed more than 100 people when it cut across Manila and other parts of the main island of Luzon in July.

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