Super Typhoon Goni slammed into the Philippines on Sunday, causing catastrophic destruction on Luzon, the country’s largest and most populous island. Initial governmental reports indicate at least ten people have died in what’s being called the strongest typhoon in the world so far this year. The storm’s dangerous wind speeds reached 170 miles per hour, bringing heavy rainfall, massive floods, downed trees and widespread power outages.
Rock filled mudslides from the Mayon Volcano buried over 300 homes in the province of Albay, 292 miles southeast of the capital city of Manila. Storm surges along with overflowing rivers and breached dikes also submerged villages in the Luzon region of Bicol, where nine of the storm-related deaths occurred. Officials believe there may be “several people buried alive” beneath the mud and debris.
Nearly 400,000 fled to higher ground before the storm hit, raising pandemic-related concerns at evacuation centers. Goni is the most powerful storm since 2013, when Typhoon Haiyan, known as Super Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, killed 6,340 people in Southeast Asia.
Ann Sullivan is a contributing staff writer covering national and world news topics. She brings dedicated experience having written international and domestic news, blogs, and web content for over 20 years. She’s also a published poet and graphic designer with degrees in Business and Graphic Communications and has been a music distributor, music industry sponsorship sales director and band manager.