Typhoon Haima slams Philippines in second storm in a week

Typhoon Haima made landfall late Wednesday in the northern Philippines -- days after Typhoon Sarika pounded the country with torrential rain and raging winds.

Haima hit Cagayan province on the northeastern end of the archipelago about 11 p.m. local time. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center downgraded it from a super typhoon before it made landfall.

First heavy rain bands from super #typhoon #LawinPH #Haima drenching N Luzon nowpic.twitter.com/TGDIWI2ugK

— James Reynolds (@EarthUncutTV) October 19, 2016

Its winds of 220 kilometers per hour (137 mph) winds had 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.

It is blasting the Philippines with strong winds and heavy rainfall that could trigger landslides in the mountainous region of the northern island of Luzon.

At its peak, Haima had winds of up to 315 kilometers per hour (195 mph), the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

It is the third-strongest typhoon of the season, behind Nepartak and Meranti, both of which lashed Taiwan and China.

The storm surge and winds near the center of Haima could be catastrophic.

The storm will be much weaker by the time it heads toward China, though flooding could still occur.


Typhoon Sarika

According to data going back to 1950 from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center, it 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.