A powerful typhoon shifted and abruptly gained strength yesterday as it blew closer to the northeastern Philippines, prompting evacuations from high-risk villages and the capital, which could be sideswiped by the storm, officials said.
Typhoon Noru was swirling at sea about 115km east of Infanta town in Quezon Province, with sustained winds of 195kph and gusts of up to 240kph.
While barreling toward the archipelago, Noru changed track southward, pushed down by a high-pressure area to its north. It gained considerable strength, transforming from a storm with sustained winds of 85kph on Saturday into a super typhoon just 24 hours later in an “explosive intensification” at sea, Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration head Vicente Malano said.
The rapid intensification as it neared land was “unprecedented” storm behavior, weather forecaster Robb Gile said.
Thousands of villagers in Quezon Province were evacuated from the typhoon’s path, as well as from mountainside villages that are prone to landslides and flash floods, and in coastal communities that could be hit by tidal surges as high as 3m.
“The combined effects of a storm surge and high waves breaking along the coast may cause life-threatening and damaging inundation or flooding,” the weather agency warned.
In Manila’s seaside district of Tondo, some residents left their homes with bags of belongings and hurriedly walked to a nearby evacuation center as the sky darkened and rains started to fall.
Provincial disaster management head Melchor Avenilla said law enforcers were under orders to forcibly move people who refuse to leave their homes.
“So far we’ve been able to do this by just appealing to people,” Avenilla said.
The typhoon’s eye could pass about 40km to 50km from metro Manila, “which is nearly a direct hit,” Malano said.
Fishing boats and inter-island and cargo ferries were restricted to port as a precaution, the coast guard said.
Cargo trucks and more than 2,500 passengers were stranded. More than 30 flights at Manila’s airport, mostly bound for domestic destinations, were canceled.
The typhoon was forecast to sweep through Luzon Island last night and into the South China Sea today. It is on track to hit Vietnam later in the week while maintaining its powerful winds.
Noru comes nine months after another super typhoon devastated swathes of the country, killing more than 400 people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless.
Additional reporting by AFP
COMMITMENT: The world’s biggest contract chipmaker said that its new 2nm chips, as well as next-generation, cutting-edge 1.4nm chips, will be produced in Taiwan Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) yesterday said that the majority of its most advanced chips would continue to be manufactured in Taiwan and that it is boosting advanced chip packaging capacity to catch up with fast-growing demand driven by generative artificial intelligence (AI) applications like ChatGPT. Deeply rooted in Taiwan, TSMC is expanding production capacity for its most advanced 3-nanometer (nm) chips at its Tainan fab and is building new plants to produce new 2-nanometer chips in Hsinchu and Taichung in 2025. The chipmaker also plans to produce next-generation, cutting-edge 1.4-nanometer chips, which are currently under development, at home, it
PASSAGE DISPUTE: A US and Canadian transit was a provocation and an attempt to ‘exercise hegemony of navigation,’ China’s defense ministry told a forum in Singapore The Ministry of National Defense yesterday urged the Chinese Communist Party to avoid provocative behavior after a Chinese navy ship crossed the paths of a US destroyer and Canadian frigate transiting the Taiwan Strait. A Chinese ship on Saturday “executed maneuvers in an unsafe manner in the vicinity of [the USS] Chung-Hoon,” an American destroyer, the US Indo-Pacific Command said in a statement. The vessel “overtook Chung-Hoon on their port side and crossed their bow at 150 yards [137m]. Chung-Hoon maintained course and slowed to 10 [knots, 18.5kph] to avoid a collision,” the statement said. It then “crossed Chung-Hoon’s bow a second time
HARD-WON FREEDOM: Beijing’s 1989 crackdown on protesters has not been and should not be forgotten, as China tightens its grip on Hong Kong, Lai said Taiwanese enjoy democracy and freedom and have multiple ways to express their creativity, and hopefully young people in China would also one day have the freedom to sing and express themselves, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday, commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Yesterday was the 34th anniversary of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army’s bloody crackdown on student-led protests in Beijing in 1989, also known as the June Fourth Incident. Tsai posted a photograph taken in March in a subway station in Guizhou, China, where hundreds of young people gathered to sing People With No Ideals Don’t Get Hurt (沒有理想的人不傷心), saying that they
GUILTY AS CHARGED: Chen Hsueh-sheng repeatedly pressed his belly against a DPP lawmaker and made derogatory remarks when confronted over his behavior The Taipei District Court yesterday upheld a verdict against Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chen Hsueh-sheng (陳雪生), finding him liable for sexually harassing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Fan Yun (范雲) during a physical altercation on the legislative floor in 2020. The DPP lawmaker accused Chen of pressing his belly against her back three times in a sexually suggestive manner during a scuffle between lawmakers from both parties. Chen must pay Fan NT$80,000 in damages as stipulated by a summary ruling of the district court at the first trial, the court said in a news release. The verdict is final as the