Thou­sands flee as fe­ro­cious winds and rain bat­ter Philip­pines

The Observer - - World - Carmela Fon­buena in Manila, Han­nah El­lis-Petersen and agen­cies

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.

AP

Mo­torists are di­rected away from a flooded street in Manila as the typhoon rages.

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