Manila — The Pacific storm Haiyan continues to intensify and is now a dangerous Category 5 super typhoon, with landfall in the central Philippines on Friday morning inevitable.
Haiyan will be called Yolanda when it hits the Philippines, and is most likely the strongest storm on the planet this year, with maximum sustained winds exceeding 160 mph, said reports.
“Based on satellite imagery, [Haiyan’s] the strongest storm I’ve seen since Bopha (2012),” said Ryan Maue, a meteorologist with WeatherBell Analytics.
Super typhoon Bopha caused hundreds of fatalities on the southern Philippine island of Mindanao in December 2012.
Maue said it’s possible Haiyan’s maximum sustained winds have reached 180 mph.
A NOAA bulletin said Haiyan “has developed to almost max intensity for a cyclone”.
Authorities in the Philippines are busy making preparations for the storm, including the suspension of classes in all grade levels from Thursday in Bohol, Cebu and other areas in the central Philippines, according to reports.