10 dead, 3 missing as strongest typhoon this year slams Philippines

10 dead, 3 missing as strongest typhoon this year slams Philippines

Philippines Asia Typhoon
Residents walk past a toppled structure as waves batter the coast of Sorsogon province, central Philippines as Typhoon Goni hits the country on Nov 1, 2020. (Photo: AP)

MANILA: At least 10 people died and three others were missing after Typhoon Goni, the world's strongest typhoon this year, barrelled through the south of the Philippines' main island of Luzon on Sunday (Nov 1), an initial government report showed.

More than 300 houses were buried under volcanic rocks and mud flows from Mayon volcano in severely hit Albay province in the Bicol region, a lawmaker said.

Video footage by news channels and on social media showed storm surges in some coastal towns, rivers overflowing and dikes destroyed, submerging villages in Bicol region.

Some houses were buried under volcanic mud flows, and power supply and communications service were cut off.

The dead and missing were all in Bicol, including nine in Albay, the Office of Civil Defence said.

Earlier in the day, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara reported that a five-year-old had been washed away in flash floods in his province. The disaster management agency was still validating the reports.

In Guinobatan municipality, Representative Zaldy Co of the Ako Bicol party list said more than 300 houses were buried under volcanic debris.

"Several people believed to be buried alive," the party list said in a statement accompanying photos of the destruction.

The storm weakened further after making a third landfall in southern Luzon, but the weather bureau warned another cyclone, tropical storm Atsani, has entered the country and could gain strength.

READ: Philippines evacuates nearly 1 million as world's strongest typhoon this year approaches

The world's strongest storm this year, which was a super typhoon when it initially hit eastern provinces, made a third landfall in Quezon province before it weakened with 165 kph sustained winds and gusts of up to 230 kph.

By late afternoon, Goni was spotted moving towards Batangas and Cavite provinces, south of the capital Manila, where residents could experience "destructive winds and intense rainfall" by night time, the weather bureau said.

Philippines Asia Typhoon
Strong waves batter the coast of Sorsogon province, central Philippines as Typhoon Goni hits the country on Nov 1, 2020. (Photo: AP)

In Quezon, Governor Danilo Suarez said power supply was cut in 10 towns as Goni toppled trees.

About 347,000 people were in evacuation centres, said disaster management chief Ricardo Jalad, lowering the figure of nearly a million reported by the agency on Saturday.

READ: Vietnam tackles typhoon's deadly aftermath as new storm threatens region

Philippines Asia Typhoon
A rescuer carries a sick child as they evacuate residents living along a coastal community in Manila, Philippines on Nov 1, 2020. (Photo: AP/Aaron Favila)

President Rodrigo Duterte was monitoring the government's disaster response from his southern hometown Davao city, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

Health officials reminded evacuees to observe social distancing as the coronavirus spread is also a concern.

Dozens of flights have been cancelled as Manila's main gateway, the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, was ordered shut for one day.

The agriculture ministry expected minimal crop damage saying 1.07 million tonnes of unmilled rice and 45,703 tonnes of corn had been saved from the typhoon's onslaught because of an early pre-disaster advisory to farmers.

Goni, among the strongest storms to hit the Philippines since Haiyan killed more than 6,300 people in 2013, was moving towards the South China Sea.

It follows Typhoon Molave, which hit the Philippines last month killing 22 people, mostly through drowning in provinces south of Manila.

Source: Reuters