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.
Women on Thursday officially joined a so-called “naked festival” at a shrine in central Japan for the first time in the event’s 1,250-year history, donning purple robes and chanting excitedly as they bore a large bamboo trunk as an offering. Seven groups of women took part in the ritual which is said to drive away evil spirits and where participants pray for happiness. Despite its name, those taking part are not naked. Many women wore “Happi Coats” (robes that reach to the hips) and shorts that are typically worn at Japanese festivals, although men just wore loincloths similar to those worn by
Chinese police are working in the remote atoll nation of Kiribati in the Pacific Ocean, with uniformed officers involved in community policing and a crime database program, Kiribati officials told Reuters. Kiribati has not publicly announced the policing deal with China, which comes as Beijing renews a push to expand security ties in the Pacific Islands in an intensifying rivalry with the US. Kiribati, a nation of 115,000, is considered strategic despite being small, as it is relatively close to Hawaii and controls one of the biggest exclusive economic zones in the world, covering more than 3.5 million square kilometers of the
SOUTH CHINA SEA SPAT: The image bolsters a Philippine Coast Guard assertion that Chinese inflatable boats deployed floating barriers at the shoal’s entrance last week Satellite images of the hotly disputed Scarborough Shoal (Huangyan Island, 黃岩島) in the South China Sea show a new floating barrier across its entrance, near where Philippine ships and Chinese coast guard vessels have had frequent run-ins. One of the images taken by Maxar Technologies on Thursday last week and viewed by Reuters showed the barrier blocking the mouth of the shoal, where the Chinese coast guard last week claimed to have driven off a Philippine vessel “illegally intruding” into Beijing’s waters. Manila, which last week deployed a Philippine Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) vessel to patrol the shoal and
A whale as long as a train car that died after straying into a port in Osaka last month is set to be buried until it naturally becomes a skeletal specimen for a local museum. It is the third year in a row that whales have become stranded in the area, raising questions about the reasons why and the cost of handling the incidents. The animal is believed to be a male sperm whale, about 12m long and weighing an estimated 20 tonnes, and was earlier spotted in Sakai Semboku Port in the middle of last month. It had since been spotted in