Thousands flee as ferocious winds and rain batter Philippines
At least 12 people are known to have been killed yesterday, after Typhoon Mangkhut unleashed ferocious winds and rain in the Philippines, damaging an airport vital to transporting humanitarian aid and forcing tens of thousands of people to flee.
Presidential adviser Francis Tolentino, who has been assigned by President Rodrigo Duterte to help coordinate disaster response, said the dead included an infant and another child who were among four people killed in a landslide in Nueva Vizcaya, one of several provinces battered by the typhoon. At least two other people are missing and the death toll could climb to 16, once other casualty reports were verified, he added.
About 90,000 people have been evacuated from high-risk areas and told not to return home until the danger has passed.
Strong winds continued to batter provinces in northern Luzon yesterday morning, making it difficult to assess damage and casualties. Power and communication lines are down in several areas.
At least two emergency workers are known to have been killed in landslides caused by the typhoon, the government said.
In Baggao town in Cagayan, where the typhoon caused a landfall, three power towers have been brought down, the defence secretary, Delfin Lorenzana, said. Television news reports showed how the typhoon ripped off roofs and destroyed farms.
Emergency workers are repairing Tuguegarao airport in northern Cagayan province after the winds and rain left it inoperable.
Motorists are directed away from a flooded street in Manila as the typhoon rages.