Thousands of residents ordered to evacuate in the Philippines after Super Typhoon Goni explodes from a 30-mph tropical depression to a 175-mph super storm in 54 hours

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Super typhoon Goni hits the Philippines as the strongest storm of 2020. Picture: RAMMB/CIRA/Colorado State University

Super Typhoon Goni exploded into Earth’s most powerful storm of 2020 as a category 5 storm with 180 mph winds in the waters to the east of the Philippines, at 11 a.m. EDT Friday, October 30.

Goni is expected to make landfall on Luzon Island in the Philippines on Sunday as a category 4 storm, and pass very close to the capital of Manila at category 1 strength or stronger.

goni, super typhoon goni, super typhoon goni philippines, Super typhoon Goni hits the Philippines as the strongest storm of 2020
Typhoon goni: The model predicted Goni would hit the Philippines as a category 4 storm, and then rapidly weaken inland to a category 3 storm with 115 mph winds, heading directly for the capital of Manila. Picture: Tropical Tidbits

Extreme intensification

Goni put on an extremely impressive bout of rapid intensification beginning at 0Z October 28, strengthening by 145 mph – from a 30-mph tropical depression to a 175-mph super typhoon, in 54 hours.

According to Sam Lillo, only five storms in the global tropical cyclone database have achieved a 145-mph increase in 54 hours or less: Typhoon Vera in 1959 in the northwest Pacific; Hurricane Linda in 1997 in the northeast Pacific; Cyclone Zoe in 2002 in the southeast Pacific; Hurricane Wilma in 2005 in the Atlantic, and Hurricane Patricia in 2015 in the northeast Pacific.

Thousands evacuated

Philippine officials on Saturday ordered evacuation of thousands of residents in the southern part of the main Luzon island as the category 5 storm approaches the Southeast Asian nation.

Pre-emptive evacuations have started in coastal and landslide-prone communities in the provinces of Camarines Norte and Camarines Sur, while Albay provincial government would order residents in risky areas to leave their homes. “The strength of this typhoon is no joke,” said a local disaster manager.

goni, super typhoon goni, super typhoon goni philippines, Super typhoon Goni hits the Philippines as the strongest storm of 2020
Paths of all historical category 1 and stronger typhoons to pass within 30 miles of Manila, Philippines. Picture : NOAA

A week after deadly Typhoon Molave

Typhoon Molave last week killed 22 people, mostly through drowning in provinces south of the capital Manila, which is also in the projected path of Goni, the 18th tropical storm in the country.

Local officials cancelled port operations and barred fishers from setting sail.

Typhoon Goni, moving westward at 20 kph (12 mph) from the Pacific Ocean, will bring intense rains over the capital and 14 provinces nearby on Saturday evening, and threats of floods and landslides.

Meanwhile, another typhoon, Atsani, is gaining strength just outside the Philippines. Around 20 typhoons hit the Philippines every year.

Typhoon Goni will make landfall on Sunday as the strongest typhoon to hit the Philippines since Haiyan that killed more than 6,300 people in November 2013. And that is really bad news! More hurricane and typhoon news on Yale Climate Connection, Reuters, Strange Sounds and Steve Quayle.

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