Philippines preparing for major typhoon
The appearance of a major, potentially devastating typhoon off the coast of the Philippines' central region has sent many residents into a flurry of activity. Citizens in the affected areas of the nation, which includes many island chains as well as a major coastal area in southeast Asia, are dealing with the typhoon as it batters the area. The predicted area of effect of the current Typhoon, named Hagupit, is similar to the major storm that devastated the area in late 2013, Typhoon Haiyan. That prediction is increasing the level of panic felt by many as it bears down on the country's mainland central region
The Associated Press reported the storm had steady wind speeds of approximately 125 miles per hour as it approached the area. The readings were taken as the typhoon was still hundreds of miles away from the coast of the Philippines, and they may slow by a significant amount as the storm makes landfall. However, wind speeds at half or even less of the current levels could still wreak havoc on the region, not only assailing structures directly but also whipping up natural and manmade debris that can cause secondary, but very serious, damage. This doesn't take into account the water damage that can additionally occur as infrastructure becomes overwhelmed and flooding becomes a distinct possibility.
A run on supplies and calm
Reuters pointed out the repeat nature of Typhoon Hagupit - its predecessor struck almost a year previously, near the end of 2013 - has caused a panic among many residents who fear the widespread damage and significant death tolls the last storm incurred may be repeated. In an attempt to be more prepared than they were for the last typhoon and its immediate aftermath, many residents have attempted to stock up on supplies before the storm hits. This has caused a run on many basic necessities, sometimes overwhelming stores. The closure of many government offices ahead of the storm's arrival has also caused issues, although the Filipino government has issued statements to the effect that it is more prepared this time.
While the final measure of the typhoon's damage will take some time to assess, businesses with interests in the area have to stay up to date on developments related to the storm. Its wide swath means that a large number of companies with assets in the area should have a crisis communications system in place.
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