Su­per ty­phoon kills eight in Philip­pines

> Haima de­stroys tens of thou­sands of homes

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

SAN PABLO: One of the most pow­er­ful ty­phoons to ever hit the Philip­pines killed at least eight peo­ple yes­ter­day as fe­ro­cious gales and land­slides de­stroyed tens of thou­sands of homes.

Su­per Ty­phoon Haima struck late on Wed­nes­day night with winds sim­i­lar to those of cat­a­strophic Haiyan in 2013, which was then the strong­est storm to strike the dis­as­ter-prone South­east Asian ar­chi­pel­ago and claimed more than 7,350 lives.

Haima then roared across moun­tain and farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties of the north­ern re­gions of the main is­land of Lu­zon overnight, caus­ing wide­spread de­struc­tion and killing at least eight peo­ple, au­thor­i­ties said.

“We were fright­ened be­cause of the strong winds. There was no power, no help com­ing,” Jovy Dalu­pan, 20, said as she shel­tered at night­fall on the side of a high­way in San Pablo, a badly dam­aged town of 20,000 peo­ple in Is­abela prov­ince.

Dalu­pan, her two young daugh­ters and hus­band, were forced to flee to the high­way along with their neigh­bours dur­ing the height of the storm when their shanty homes, made of ply­wood, were ripped apart.

“We were soaked when the roof flew off, even my lit­tle ba­bies got drenched ... all of our clothes were drenched. We have noth­ing to change into.”

Haima hit coastal towns fac­ing the Pa­cific Ocean with sus­tained winds of 225kph, and wind gusts of up to 315km.

It weak­ened overnight as it rammed into gi­ant moun­tain ranges and by yes­ter­day morn­ing had passed over the west­ern edge of Lu­zon and into the South China Sea, head­ing to­wards south­ern China.

The gov­er­nor of Ca­gayan, a prov­ince of 600,000 peo­ple neigh­bour­ing Is­abela where Haima made land­fall, said the en­tire re­gion was without power as he re­ported wide­spread de­struc­tion.

“Al­most ev­ery house here has been dam­aged,” gov­er­nor Manuel Mamba told ABS CBN tele­vi­sion.

Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte said on Wed­nes­day night all pos­si­ble prepa­ra­tions had been made for Haima, with tens of thou­sands of peo­ple evac­u­ated, but he still struck an omi­nous tone.

“We only pray we be spared the de­struc­tion such as the pre­vi­ous times,” he said in Bei­jing, where he was on state visit.

About 10 mil­lion peo­ple across the north­ern parts of Lu­zon were at risk, ac­cord­ing to the govern­ment’s dis­as­ter risk man­age­ment coun­cil.

Au­thor­i­ties said two of those killed, aged 16 and 17, were buried in a land­slide while sleep­ing in a house in Ifu­gao, a moun­tain­ous area home to rice ter­races listed as a UN World Her­itage site.

Two other peo­ple were buried in a shanty in an­other moun­tain­ous re­gion, the dis­as­ter risk coun­cil’s divi­sion in the north­ern Philip­pines re­ported.

Au­thor­i­ties said the death toll is ex­pected to rise. – AFP

A worker sweeps garbage washed ashore as a re­sult of a storm surge of Haima at the Manila Bay yes­ter­day.

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