Supertyphoon Noru began to hit the Philippines on Sunday, September 25, raising fears of flooding and crop destruction, and prompting thousands of people to evacuate their homes.

The supertyphoon began to inflict strong winds and heavy rains on the heavily populated main island of Luzon in the afternoon.

According to the Philippine Meteorological Service, Noru made landfall at 5:30 p.m. local time (9:30 a.m. GMT) in the municipality of Burdeos on the Polillo Islands, which is part of the province of Quezon.

Winds of 195 km/h

Accompanied by winds of 195 km / h, Noru, called "Karding" in the Philippines, is the most powerful typhoon recorded this year in the country.

It strengthened with "unprecedented" rapidity according to the National Weather Service.

“We are asking residents of endangered areas to obey calls to evacuate when necessary,” said Philippine Police Chief General Rodolfo Azurin.

"The winds were strong this morning," said Ernesto Portillo, 30, working as a cook in the coastal town of Infanta, Quezon province.

"We are a little worried, he added. We have secured our belongings and we have been shopping for food if needed."

The Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons each year, a phenomenon that tends to worsen due to climate change, according to scientists.

Nine months ago, another supertyphoon killed more than 400 people in the center and south of the country.

An "unprecedented" intensification

A typhoon is called a "supertyphoon" when its winds exceed a certain speed, the threshold varying according to the national meteorological services.

In the Philippines, this threshold is 185 km/h.

The speed of the winds accompanying Noru has increased by 90 km / h in just 24 hours, an "unprecedented" intensification, estimated the weather forecaster Robb Gile.

“Typhoons are like engines, they need fuel and an exhaust to run,” explained Robb Gile.

According to him, Noru "has good fuel because it has plenty of warm waters along its path, and it has good exhaust in the upper layers of the atmosphere. It's a good recipe for explosive escalation. ."

According to the meteorological service, the wind speed could reach 205 km / h when the supertyphoon, born in the Pacific Ocean, arrives on dry land.

Schools closed, maritime traffic suspended

The service warned of flooding, landslides and strong waves in the affected areas.

Schools will remain closed on Monday and maritime traffic has been suspended.

In the Manila region, hit by the typhoon 100 km northeast of the capital where 13 million people live, compulsory evacuations were underway in a few high-risk areas, including slums located along the rivers.

"I evacuated the house where I live because I'm afraid of the rapidly rising waters," Gloria Pérez, 68, who is part of a group hosted in tents set up under the roofs, told AFP. of a basketball court.

"I've been through this before and I don't want to go through it again."

Dozens of flights to or from the Philippine capital were suspended on Monday.

In neighboring Aurora province, residents of Dingalan municipality have also been sent to shelters.

"People who live near the coast were told to evacuate. We live far from the coast, so we stayed. We are more worried about the water coming from the mountains," said Rhea Tan, 54, restaurateur in Dingalan.

The typhoon is expected to weaken as it passes over Luzon Island, before moving away into the South China Sea on Monday towards Vietnam.

With AFP

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