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Super Typhoon Haiyan gaining strength, heading towards Philippines

Thursday November 7, 2013 - 03:26 EDT
Audience submitted image
Super Typhoon Haiyan is already packing winds of 260 kmh on November 6 at 1:30pm UTC. - Audience submitted

Typhoon Haiyan is intensifying as it continues to move across the northern Pacific, packing winds of up to 260 kilometres per hour and granting it 'super' status.

Forecaster Michael Ziobrol from the US National Weather Service says the typhoon is expected to affect parts of Micronesia later on Wednesday.

"It's going pretty quickly and it's going to go to Palau and south of Yap but there's a little island there with a few people called Nrulu and they're probably going to get the eye of the typhoon over them," he said.

The Palau National Emergency Management Office, NEMO, is advising the public to tune into local broadcasters for updates and to stock up on emergency supplies.

Palau's government offices and schools will remain shut until Friday.

Mr Ziobro says many of the islands in the path of the typhoon are low-lying areas.

"Some of these little islands are not very high above the ocean so some of the wave action would be higher than atolls," he said.

US National weather service in Guam are expecting seas of around 20 feet to wash the island.

They are estimating the typhoon will pass very close to the island Kayangel at around 2am local time.

So far, there have been no deaths but some damage has been reported.

Mr Ziobro says people on the Micronesian islands should not venture out to sea due to rough waters and strong winds.

"That's very dangerous at this point," he said.

"There was a little island, Woleai, we knew they had some damage.

We haven't heard anybody getting hurt or killed so that's been fortunate for now."

'Most dangerous storm'

Haiyan is expected to reach central Philippines as a super typhoon by Friday noon local time, packing winds of 233-249 kilometres per hour, according to Michael Ziobrol.

"If people are in the Philippines, they should start preparing too, especially the central Philippines," he said.

Dr Jeff Masters, a contributor to the weather blog Wunderground, says Haiyan will likely be the most dangerous tropical cyclone to affect the Philippines this year.

Many people in the Philippines have been expressing their concerns about the impending storm on social networking site Twitter.

"Super typhoon #YolandaPH is on its way! Weekends ruined again! Keep safe everyone!"

- Rubiereen (@Reen_rivera)

"Everybody is now busy in #doomsday #prepping for Super typhoon #HAIYAN (#YolandaPH)."

- Chad Rey G. (@ReyGac8)

The typhoon will be named Yolanda when it enters the Philippines.

The country is hit by some 20 typhoons each year.

Typhoon Nari pounded the archipelago's north last month, killing 13 people.


© ABC 2013

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