A typhoon on Christmas Day forced the people of the Philippines into a wet and miserable holiday season. They wanted to Travel home for the traditional Christmas Eve midnight dinner but the weather played spoilsport. It was Typhoon Phanfone that left thousands stranded at the ports or evacuation centers while others sought shelter in rain-soaked homes. It destroyed houses, uprooted trees, and led to blackouts in the cities. Schools, gyms and government buildings were converted into makeshift evacuation centers in order to accommodate hundreds of people.

The Guardian indicates the nature of the damage.

Typhoon Phanfone resulted in extensive damage in the north of the island of Cebu. An official from the civil defense said many residents in evacuation centers woke up to find their homes damaged. If they stayed at the evacuation centers, they could have had a Christmas Eve meal of tinned fish and instant noodles. The typhoon was headed towards the South China Sea and many more islands would fall in its path.

It was a chaotic situation

Western tourists normally frequent the western island resort of Coron. The typhoon left the beaches empty and tour operators suspended boat tours. Tourists had no other alternative but to remain indoors to await the return of normalcy. A hotel receptionist confirmed the closure of many tourist establishments while some guests did not turn up probably because of the cancellation of flights.

She summed up the situation saying, “We’re not scared, but the ambiance here is generally gloomy.”

The Guardian explains that the Philippines experiences an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year. This is because it is the first major landmass that faces the Pacific cyclone belt. It results in all-round losses of infrastructure and tourism potential.

A study conducted by the Asian Development Bank confirms this.

The typhoon struck with wind speeds of 75 mph

According to Express UK, it was a bad start to the Christmas holiday season as the typhoon led to the destruction of homes, loss of power supply and stranding of travelers. The typhoon was in category 2 and its wind speed was 75 mph with gusts that went up to 93 mph.

That was the situation when it made landfall in Samar. Disaster officials said the authorities evacuated more than 4,000 people. Estimates indicate the cancellation of several domestic flights with more than 150 vessels stuck in the ports stranding thousands of passengers. In addition, many homes in the path of the storm suffered heavy damage. There are no reports of loss of life. Incidentally, such disasters usually lead to deaths like the typhoon Haiyan in 2013. The Philippines witnessed the havoc it created when it left over 6,000 dead with 200,000 homes destroyed.

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