Half a million people have evacuated their homes in the Philippines, The Associated Press reports, as a powerful super typhoon bears down on a region that saw 7,300 deaths and widespread damage from another major storm a bit more than a year ago.
Typhoon Hagupit — the name translates into “smash” in Tagalog — is expected to make landfall as soon as Saturday morning U.S. East Coast time.
Weather.com reports that Hagupit will be the equivalent of a Category 3 or Category 4 hurricane, and that its slow movement through the archipelago — it’s expected to spend four days over the islands — could drop more than 2 feet of rain in some spots, triggering flash flooding and mudslides. Storm surge could reach nearly 15 feet in some spots, the Philippines government reported.
The country also reported it had 1,240 troops, 476 cargo ships, 130 transport vehicles and 88 disaster response teams positioned for the storm, which is being referred to as Ruby in the Philippines.
Typhoon Haiyan, which hit the nation in November 2013, demolished about 1 million houses and displaced some 4 million people in the central Philippines, the AP reports. Hundreds of residents still living in tents in Tacloban have been prioritized in the current evacuation.