Typhoon sows death and destruc­tion in Philip­pines

South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday) - - Nation & World - By Aaron Fav­ila and Joeal Calupi­tan

TUGUE­GARAO, Philip­pines — Typhoon Mangkhut lashed the north­ern Philip­pines with de­struc­tive winds and heavy rain that set off land­slides and de­stroyed homes Satur­day, leav­ing at least 12 peo­ple dead, as Hong Kong and other parts of south­ern China braced for the pow­er­ful storm.

The most fe­ro­cious typhoon to hit the dis­as­ter­prone Philip­pines this year slammed ashore be­fore dawn in Ca­gayan prov­ince on the north­east­ern tip of Lu­zon is­land, a bread­bas­ket that is also a re­gion of flood-prone rice plains and moun­tain prov­inces with a his­tory of deadly land­slides.

More than 5 mil­lion peo­ple were at risk from the storm, which the Hawai­ibased Joint Typhoon Warn­ing Cen­ter down­graded from a su­per typhoon. Mangkhut, how­ever, was still punch­ing pow­er­ful winds and gusts equiv­a­lent to a Cat­e­gory 4 At­lantic hur­ri­cane when it hit the Philip­pines.

China and the Philip­pines agreed to post­pone a visit by Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi that was to start Sun­day due to the typhoon’s on­slaught, which caused nearly 150 flights, a third of them in­ter­na­tional, to be can­celed and halted sea travel. Fran­cis To­lentino, an ad­viser to Philip­pine Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte, said the 12 died mostly in land­slides and houses pum­meled by the storm’s fierce winds and rain. Among the fa­tal­i­ties were an in­fant and a 2-yearold child who died with their par­ents af­ter the cou­ple re­fused to im­me­di­ately evac­u­ate from their high-risk com­mu­nity in a moun­tain town in Nueva Viz­caya prov­ince, To­lentino said.

“They can’t de­cide for them­selves where to go,” he said of the chil­dren, ex­press­ing frus­tra­tion that the tragedy was not pre­vented.

To­lentino, who was as­signed by Duterte to help co­or­di­nate dis­as­ter re­sponse, said at least two other peo­ple were miss­ing. He said the death toll could climb to at least 16 once other ca­su­alty re­ports were ver­i­fied.

Mayor Mauri­cio Do­mo­gan said at least three peo­ple died and six oth­ers were miss­ing in his moun­tain city of Baguio af­ter strong winds and rain de­stroyed sev­eral houses and set off land­slides.

JES AZNAR/GETTY

Peo­ple in­spect their dam­aged prop­erty Satur­day in Al­cala, Philip­pines, af­ter typhoon Mangkhut made land­fall.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.