At least four people were killed after Super Typhoon Haima smashed into the northern Philippines with ferocious wind and rain, flooding towns and forcing thousands to flee, although it slightly weakened yesterday after slamming into a mountain range on its way to the South China Sea, officials said.
Haima’s blinding wind and rain had rekindled fears and memories from the catastrophe wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, but there were no immediate reports of any major damage amid spotty communications and power outages in several provinces.
Thousands of villagers were moved to emergency shelters as the typhoon approached.
Two construction workers died when a landslide buried their shanty in La Trinidad town in the mountain province of Benguet, officials said, while two villagers drowned in floodwaters in Ifugao province, near Benguet.
The typhoon slammed into the shore in Cagayan province late on Wednesday and lashed the mountainous province of Apayao at dawn with slightly weaker sustained winds of 205kph and gusts of 285kph. It was blowing northwestward at 25kph toward the tobacco-growing Ilocos Norte, the last province before it exits toward the South China Sea, forecasters said.
In Narvacan town in northern Ilocos Sur province, ricefields resembled a brown lake under waist-high floodwaters. Despite the still-strong wind and rain, government workers have started clearing roads blocked with toppled trees and all kinds of debris.
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