Typhoon Haima makes landfall in Philippines, impacting more than 60,000 people
After hitting the Philippines, it's expected to veer northwest toward the Chinese coast
Heavy damage to infrastructure and agriculture is expected in northeast Philippines, officials said Thursday, as the cleanup began in the wake of Typhoon Haima.
Haima was the second typhoon to hit Philippines in less than a week, lashing the country with torrential rain and raging winds.
It made landfall on the northeastern end of the archipelago about 11 p.m. (11 a.m. ET )Wednesday. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center downgraded it from a super typhoon before it hit land.
Winds of 220 kilometers per hour (137 mph) prior to arrival put it on par with a Category 4 hurricane, the center said. It’s expected to affect as many as 2.7 million people in seven provinces before veering northwest toward the Chinese coast by Friday.
Crops and infrastructure are expected to be worst hit in areas close to the typhoon’s path, a spokesperson for the Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said.
Haima is now heading towards China, where work teams have already been deployed to Guangdong province in anticipation of its arrival, according to Xinhua.
Thousands in evacuations centers
More than 60,000 people have already been affected by the typhoon, as it traveled across the Philippines, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, with almost 15,000 people in evacuation centers.
Hundreds of thousands of food packs were ready to be deployed by the government early on Thursday morning.
At its peak, Haima packed winds of up to 315 kilometers per hour (195 mph), the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
Typhoon Haima will be much weaker by the time it heads toward China, CNN meteorologists said, though flooding could still occur.
Second typhoon in a week
According to data going back to 1950 from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, Haima will be just the third time back-to-back storms with an intensity of Category 4 or higher have hit the Philippines.
At least three people were killed Sunday as Sarika crossed the archipelago north of Manila as a Category 4 storm. Almost 10,000 people were displaced, according to aid organization Care International.
On Tuesday, that weather system made landfall on the southern Chinese island of Hainan, prompting the government to close schools in the island province and suspend high-speed rail services, China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported.
About 500,000 people were evacuated ahead of the storm, Xinhua reported.
CNN’s Zahrah Ullah, Taylor Ward, Katie Hunt, Serenitie Wang and Reed Alexander contributed to this report.