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Kammuri's wrath: Flooding, storm surge and strong winds are concerns, including the main Luzon island, where the capital Manila is located. Image Credit: Twitter

Typhoons prowl around like roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. For hours, they ravage everyone and everything on their path beyond help — homes, power and communication lines, lives.

To be caught in the eye of a storm is both fascinating and fearsome, in equal measure. For those who have less in life, it's soul-crushing, even deadly.

Kammuri was particularly violent, pumped up at 10:30 pm on December 2 in Legazpi (6.30pm Dubai time). It's the first major Philippine city to bear the storm's wrath: its airport passenger terminal took a massive beating after a wall and the ceiling came off.

And in the eye of the storm, it’s deceptively quiet.

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Debris litter the passenger terminal of Legazpi airport as Kammuri pummeled the Bicol region. Image Credit: Facebook

And in the eye of the storm, it’s deceptively quiet.

Modern-day storm tracking technology has brought to the world real-time, unfiltered reports of weather disturbances, including the monstrous Kammuri.

Signal No. 3 or 4?

The latest radar technology and weather satellites, many of them run by universities, have exposed Kammuri’s beastly might.

Pagasa, the Philippines’ weather bureau, however, simply categories typhoons according to Signals #1 to #5.

Kammuri is Signal 3 in places that took a direct hit, states Pagasa. However, a 2.5-minute rapid scan #Himawari8 Infrared images shows a Category 4-equivalent for Kammuri as it hit land.

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Power lines felled by Kammuri in Magallanes town of Sorsogon province. Image Credit: Fritzel H. Lopez / Facebook

'Ring of hell'

Armed with backpack radar gear, and linked up to the world by social media, one Twitter-enabled storm tracker, Josh Morgerman, has constantly chased cyclones and typhoons.

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Typhoon Kammuri left the Legazpi airport passenger terminal in disarray. Photo taken in the early hours of the storm's devastation. Image Credit: Facebook.

He shares what it’s like to live through “ring of hell” by the hour. Until power and communication lines are cut. Then, silence.

Here’s a gist of what people in the Bicol region went through overnight and till this morning, thanks to Morgerman.

‘Ear-piercing whistles’

“Constant roar with ear-piercing whistles,” reported tweep Josh Morgerman, a typhoon tracker, from his Legazpi hotel. “Roof of covered walkway ripped off & flew away. Hanging lamps in lobby shaking as in an earthquake. Surge crashing up onto hotel grounds,” he added.


At about 12:18 am on December 3, Morgerman tweeted, “The roar & the incessant whistling sounds are dying down. Suddenly. I think we might be grazing the eye! Pressure’s not that low, but it is definitely calming, or trying to.”

After calm, it roars again

At 1.40am, he reported: “After long calm, wind is starting to roar again. We’re going back into the ring of hell. While #KAMMURI’s violence has mightily impressed me, the data have not. I have 3 calibrated devices going, and none got lower than 961.9 mb. Weird. But this felt like a legit Cat 4.”

"We're going back in the ring of hell," Morgerman tweeted at 1.40am, December 3 (Tuesday).

Typhoon Kammuri is expected to continue on a general westerly path, lashing a huge swathe of land, including the capital Manila, with fierce winds and dumping heavy rains.

Typhoon Kammuri is currently lashing the Mindoro island with fierce winds and heavy rains.

Organisers of the on-going South-East Asian Games, hosted by the Philippines, reported that Kammuri has affected at least 8 sports events.

Kammuri culminates a busy year for these monsters from the Pacific – it is region's 20th typhoon in 2019.

Kammuri has left the passenger terminal of Legazpi City airport in shambles. Power and communication are still cut in most of Bicol region. Manila airport has been shut down until 11pm on December 3.

'No more phone signal'
I am having ants in my pants about this typhoon in my province in the Philippines. No more phone signal to reach my mom and sisters-in-law.

I learnt that roofs are flying wild already. And they just shut down the international airport in Manila as a precautionary measure.

This takes me back almost 39 years ago when our entire house was brought to the ground by 'Typhoon Dinang' (Category 4) on a Christmas night.

The devastation it brought to my town was just too much! My dad and my eldest brother, who was just 15 then, started putting up the first post for a new house right after the gust stopped.

My dad had tears in his eyes. Everybody was so quiet, just picking up whatever we can save from the debris.
My mom made us congee, a rice porridge, from a makeshift kitchen. Me? Picked up all our belongings which were all wet from the rain.

I didn’t stop washing the laundry by hand -- everyday for 2 weeks. I was just in the 7th grade🙁.

Storms come to our lives in different forms. All of which make us strong and resilient and emphatic.

I only pray that my loved ones and those that are in the path of nature’s wrath will be safe. Please continue keeping them in your prayers. Please include my people in your Christmas Prayers.

They will survive this again, as they did in the past calamities. I know that in my heart.

This will make an even stronger community in my place. And after the storm, people will smile again, even with tears in their eyes.

- As shared by Paz Clarice Bufete Hilotin on her Facebook page, December 2, 2019 (posted from Toronto, Canada)