Super typhoon Yutu to threaten Philippines


BOSTON • Super Typhoon Yutu could rip into eastern Luzon in the Philippines tomorrow, extending the toll of destruction it left in the US Northern Mariana Islands earlier last week.

Yutu was about 731 miles (1,176km) east of Luzon with winds of about 155mph (249.44kph), equivalent to a Category 4 storm on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale, early on Saturday US time, according to the US Joint Typhoon Warning Centre in Hawaii. It’s generating waves of 54ft (16.46m).

“It is a very dangerous situation,” said Robert Richards, a meteorologist with AccuWeather Inc in State College, Pennsylvania. “Generally, when they get that strong there is a risk to life and infrastructure.”

Yutu, called Rosita in the Philippines, will bring flooding rain, tree-snapping winds and a life-threatening storm surge when it comes ashore.

Luzon is the largest and most populous island in the Philippines, home to some 53 million people.

On its current track, the storm would pass well north of the capital of Manila, which could see rain and gusty winds.

Yutu became the strongest storm since 1950 to hit the US territories of Saipan and Tinian in the Northern Mariana Islands, when it brought winds of nearly 180mph over the area last Wednesday.

Yutu’s winds could weaken slightly before it hits the Philippines about 2pm local time tomorrow, but it should still be a Category 4 storm.

“The best thing is to evacuate the area,” Richards said.