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UPDATE: Yolanda Hits Land

MTSAT Image of Typhoon Yolanda around 11:00 a.m. (PAGASA)
MTSAT Image of Typhoon Yolanda around 11:00 a.m. (PAGASA)

Super typhoon YOLANDA (Haiyan) has made landfall over the Visayas early Friday morning, Nov. 8.

Yolanda hit land at around 4:40 a.m. over Guiuan, Eastern Samar with maximum sustained winds of 235 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 275 kph. Through the morning, Typhoon Yolanda made several landfall over Dulag-Tolosa Leyte, Daanbantayan in Cebu and Bantayan Island.

Strong winds are being experienced in areas around the center of the typhoon. Flashfloods were reported in Tacloban City and in Talisay City, Cebu. Flooding is expected in low-lying areas.

Power supply is cut in several areas affected by the typhoon to prevent the danger of electrocution in case power lines are damaged by strong winds and flood. Earlier today, Visayan Electric Company (VECO) has shut down power in its franchise areas namely Cebu, Mandaue, Talisay, Minglanilla, Naga, San Fernando, Liloan, and Consolacion for safety reasons.

Communications with typhoon affected areas may be problematic due to cut power, bad weather, and possible severed telephone lines. Philstar Online reported that communications went down in Guiuan, Eastern Samar after the typhoon made its landfall. Reports also indicate that communications are down in several areas in Leyte.

The Philippine Coast Guard reported that 2,995 passengers, 231 vessels, 63 motor bancas were stranded as of 9:00 a.m..

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) advised that all airports are on Alert level 4. Several domestic airports are closed for today, namely Kalibo, Roxas, Romblon, Tacloban, Surigao, Caticlan (Boracay), Legaspi, Iloilo and Masbate Airports. Flights to and from Visayas and other areas in the country are also cancelled.

Yesterday, the National Government earlier announced the suspension of classes in all levels in various areas mostly in the Visayas.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) reported as of 6:00 a.m. that over 125,000 persons were evacuated preemptively. The number of evacuees is expected to rise as typhoon Yolanda affects areas in its path.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) assures that there is a sufficient amount of relief goods for all the regions that will be affected by the typhoon. The DSWD has prepositioned food packs in Regions VI, VII, VIII, and CARAGA.

As of 12:00 p.m., typhoon Yolanda has made its fifth landfall over Concepcion, Iloilo.