Super Typhoon Haima slams into northeastern Philippines coastline

BINALONAN, Philippines (AP) — Super Typhoon Haima slammed into the northeastern Philippine coast late Wednesday with ferocious winds and rain that rekindled fears and memories from the catastrophe wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.

Haima, which has sustained winds of 140 miles per hour and gusts of up to 195 mph, made landfall at Penablanca town in Cagayan province shortly before midnight, weather officials said. Many villages lost power and intense winds tore tin roofs off houses.

“We can’t go out because the wind is so intense, trees are being forced down,” Councilor Elisa Arugay told DZMM radio from Camasi village in Penablanca.

Officials were concerned because the powerful typhoon struck at night and is expected to hit towns and cities amid power outages. After Cagayan, Haima is forecast to blow across the mountainous province of Apayao and then lash Ilocos Norte province before exiting into the South China Sea this morning.

The government’s weather agency raised the the storm warning to the highest level in six northern provinces, which meant that powerful winds could inflict “very heavy to widespread damage” and whip up storm surges of up to 16 feet, enough to engulf shanties in many rural communities.