Powerful typhoon rips off roofs and floods parts of Philippines

Powerful typhoon rips off roofs and floods parts of Philippines

A powerful typhoon was blowing across the Philippines today after slamming ashore overnight in an eastern province, damaging houses and an airport and knocking out power after tens of thousands of people fled for safer ground.

Typhoon Kammuri blew into Gubat town in Sorsogon province before midnight, then barrelled westwards through Quezon province on Tuesday morning, ripping off roofs, knocking out power and flooding low-lying villages.

It had maximum sustained winds of 96mph (155kph) and gusts of up to 146mph (235kph) as it headed towards a cluster of island provinces and coastal regions south of Manila.

There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.

Residents reinforce their house as they prepare for Typhoon Kammuri (AP)
Residents reinforce their house as they prepare for Typhoon Kammuri (AP)

Kammuri’s pounding rain and wind damaged the airport in Legazpi city in Albay province, collapsing a portion of its ceiling, scattering chairs in the arrival and departure areas, and shattering glass panes. Parts of the city were flooded, according to local news reports.

Manila’s international airport was due to close during the storm’s peak, expected at midday to afternoon in the capital region, before the typhoon blows out to sea later in the day.

Officials warned of storm surges and prolonged heavy rain. More than 100,000 residents evacuated before the typhoon made landfall, abandoning homes in coastal and low-lying areas prone to flash floods and landslides, the Office of Civil Defence said.

The coast guard suspended sea travel in the north-east, stranding more than 6,000 travellers along with thousands of cargo ships and smaller watercraft in the archipelago nation.

A sign is placed outside the entrance of Manila’s International Airport after flights were cancelled due to the approaching typhoon (Aaron Favila/AP)
A sign is placed outside the entrance of Manila’s International Airport after flights were cancelled due to the approaching typhoon (Aaron Favila/AP)

The Philippines cancelled a tennis match in the Southeast Asian Games after rain drenched an outdoor court.

Organisers said windsurfing competitions had also been postponed and other events would be delayed if necessary for safety reasons, but there was no plan to extend the 11-day games, which opened on Saturday.

Albay province is home to the Mount Mayon volcano, which is famous for its near-perfect cone and has erupted about 50 times in the last 500 years. Its last significant eruption was in early 2018 and prompted tens of thousands of people to evacuate nearby villages.

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