Typhoon Koppu’s 130mph Winds Leave Trail Of Havoc

Miraculously only one person is reported dead as the 130 mph winds of Typhoon Koppu batter The Philippines.

A teenager was crushed under falling debris and eight others are listed as missing as the storm battered towns and villages and heavy rains triggered landslides and floods.

Thousands fled their homes as the storm struck and many are isolated by rising floods as rescue and aid workers cannot access the worst-hit areas.

The government revealed 23,000 people were evacuated, ferries were ordered to stay in harbours and air flights grounded as the storm struck.

The storm landed near the coastal town of Casiguran, where swirling winds and huge waves lashed the area for seven hours, devastating flimsy buildings.

Swirling floods

News footage shows roofs ripped off buildings, swirling flood waters and huge uprooted tree trunks.

Although the storm has weakened on landfall, Koppu is on course for the largest island in the Philippines, Luzon, where more than 50 million people live.

On the way, the typhoon will pass over hundreds of square miles of terraced rice plantations in mountains and forecasters fear the combined force of the winds and rains will unleash serious landsides.

Meteorologists say almost a metre of rain has fallen, swelling dams that must let off water into the surrounding countryside, worsening the already flooded landscape.

They say Koppu will gradually blow out but will remain over The Philippines until Tuesday before drifting towards Taiwan.

Typhoon danger

The Philippines is hit by typhoons around 20 times a year.

Although serious because of the speed of the winds and time spent sitting over the islands, Koppu is still moderate compared with many others.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan was recorded as the strongest and most dangerous storm ever recorded in The Philippines. Almost 7,500 people were left dead in the trail of havoc the typhoon wreaked over the islands.

Tropical storms develop over the Pacific between May and October. To become a cyclone or typhoon, the storm must have 10 minutes of sustained wind speeds of 40mph.

So far in 2015, 26 storms have met this classification. Koppu’s 130 mph wind speed is the strongest this year.

Typhoons are estimated to have taken 148 lives and caused almost $9 billion of damage in 2015.