"Super Typhoon" Yolanda (the Philippine name for this storm) is a Monster 500 miles in diameter, with few this fearsome ever seen over the course of history.
Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of strongest storms ever, hits central PhilippinesThis is shaping up to be the Central Philippines' second didaster in less than three weeks. A 7.2 magnitude quake struck the region on Oct. 15 with the epicenter on Bohol Island. Ten of thousands are currently living in tents on Bohol and the surrounding islands as Super Typhoon Yolanda is bearing down on their region, the home to 25 million people.
By Jethro Mullen,
(CNN) -- Super Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest tropical cyclones ever observed, made landfall Friday morning in the Philippines, the country's weather service reported.
Thousands of people in vulnerable areas of the central Philippines were evacuated as the monster storm spun toward the country.
With sustained winds of 315 kph (195 mph) and gusts as strong as 380 kph (235 mph), Haiyan churned across the Western Pacific into the Philippines.
Its wind strength makes it equivalent to an exceptionally strong Category 5 hurricane.
Haiyan will move over the many islands of the central Philippines over the next 18 hours before exiting into the South China Sea overnight Friday into Saturday. Haiyan will weaken slightly as the storm crosses land, but forecasters with the Philippine weather agency, Pagasa, predict that it will maintain super typhoon intensity throughout its passage of the islands.
Some of the most vulnerable people are those living in makeshift shelters on the central Philippine island of Bohol. Last December a weaker Typhoon hit the southern Philippine island of MindianI'm no casual observer here. In 11 days I'm leaving to fly to earthquake stricken Bohol to help All Hands Volunteers work on their earthquake disaster relief Project Bohol. Now it's looking like I may well be responding to a double disaster.
Last month, a 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the island, which lies close to the typhoon's predicted path. The quake killed at least 222 people, injured nearly 1,000 and displaced about 350,000, according to authorities.
I will be working as a volunteer in the earthquake recovery effort for three weeks. Here's a description of what the work involves:
Project BoholWe're asked to bring our own tents to stay in since shelter is in short supply with tens of thousands of people still displaced from their homes.
In response to a vast need for “safe-ing” structures, we will work to take down precarious homes that owners and neighbors are afraid to enter. We will also do deconstruction in order to salvage valuable materials for rebuilding, and we will be clearing rubble. Pending funding, we envision a rebuild program that includes constructing resilient core shelters on the affected homeowners’ properties.
All Hands needs your support to host me and volunteers like me. This is likely to be a sustained effort too with the need for help for the residents of Bohol likely to increase because of this storm, rather than diminish anytime soon. I set up a personal fundraising page:
Help All Hands Volunteers cover the costs of my three weeks working with Project Bohol