Typhoon Vongfong has made landfall in the Philippines, with packed winds of at least 115 mph, an intensity that makes it the equivalent of a category 3 hurricane, said CNN.

The typhoon struck eastern Samar at around noon local time Thursday. Samar was the first to be struck by super typhoon Haiyan in 2013, which killed at least 6,300 people.

It is the first named storm of the 2020 season in the West Pacific.

At least 200,000 people live in coastal areas near the area of Samar affected.

After Vongfong made landfall, it kept on a westward track longer than anticipated, causing it to spend more time over land and weaken, said CNN Weather.  

The storm is now a minimal typhoon and will move through Luzon over the next 24 to 48 hours, but will be more of a rain and flood threat than a wind threat.

This current natural disaster has put a strain on the Philippines, as it also affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

Much of the public schools usually used as evacuations areas for those affected by the typhoon are now being utilized as coronavirus treatment centers.

More than 50 million people in the Philippines are living under strict lockdown rules imposed by President Rodrigo Duterte in an attempt to contain the virus.

According to Johns Hopkins University, the country currently has 11,876 cases of the disease.

The country’s weather bureau, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA), said the Philippines receives an average of up to 20 tropical cyclones in a year.

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