Typhoon Nari barrels toward northern Philippines

A tropical storm barreling toward the northern Philippines has intensified into a typhoon with destructive winds and flooding rains threatening farmlands and populated areas, including the capital Manila.

A tropical storm barreling toward the northern Philippines on Friday intensified into a typhoon with destructive winds and flooding rains threatening farmlands and populated areas, including the capital Manila.

Typhoon Nari forced US Secretary of State John Kerry to call off Friday's trip to the Philippines. Kerry, who was visiting Southeast Asia for regional summits, said in Brunei on Thursday he was advised by his pilots to postpone the trip.

Authorities placed 14 provinces and metropolitan Manila under storm alert, closed schools and put emergency services on notice.

The typhoon is forecast to slam ashore in northeastern Aurora province later Friday or early Saturday with winds of 120 kilometers (74 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 150 kph (93 mph). Rainfall will exceed 100 to 200 millimeters (4 to 8 inches) with up to 300 mm (12 inches) in mountainous areas — about a month's average in 24 hours.

The national disaster agency said it was ready to evacuate thousands of residents from coastal towns.

Aurora Gov. Gerardo Noveras said that mayors were busy calling on people living along rivers to seek shelter and stock up on relief goods, including rice and canned food.

After hitting land, Nari is expect to pound the mountains and rice growing plains of central Luzon Island and exit into the South China Sea, heading for Vietnam early next week.

The center of the typhoon is forecast to pass just north of Manila, dumping more rain in the sprawling capital. Manila has been hit hard by floods because of poor infrastructure and clogged drainage and water canals — most of them blocked by densely populated slums — that are supposed to channel excess water into the sea.

During the rainy season, which can last from June to December, the Philippines gets lashed by about 20-22 storms every year.

About 30 people died last month in flash floods triggered by monsoon rains. Another 20 died this past week alone, most of them in the southern Philippines.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.