Palau Prepares for Super Typhoon

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Tropical Storm Bopha is expected to reach Typhoon strength on Friday, November 30, 2012 and grow to Super Typhoon strength by Monday, December 2, 2012.  Current predictions place the center of the storm passing the northern tip of Palau’s main island of Babledoab on Sunday with sustained winds of 110 miles per hour and gusts nearing 140 miles per hour.  It has been over 40 years since the last significant storm hit Palau with winds around 80 miles per hour.  Currently the hardest hit areas are expected to be in the Island State of Kayangel and the northern coastal States of Ngerchelong, Ngraard and Ngiwal.  The low-lying atoll of Kayangel is expected to receive the full impact of the storm with the center passing within 14 miles.  Evacuations are not planned for Kayangel’s residents; however, typhoon shelters are being prepared.  In Koror, Palau’s city center, residents are preparing by stocking up on food and water and boarding some houses.  The National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) is meeting today at 3p to coordinate government agencies to discuss plans for the storm.