Philippines: Typhoon Goni weakens but leaves 7 dead, 2 missing

  • AP, Manila, Philippines
  • Updated: Aug 22, 2015 09:28 IST
Workers clear a road with fallen trees after Typhoon Goni battered Baguio city in northern Philippines. (Reuters Photo)

Typhoon Goni slightly weakened on Saturday as it lashed the northern Philippines with strong rain and wind that set off landslides and flooded low-lying villages, leaving at least seven people dead and two others missing, officials said.

The government's weather agency said the typhoon was at sea about 125 kilometres (78 miles) east of northern Calayan Island on the northern tip of the archipelago and is not expected to make landfall.

It is packing maximum sustained winds of 160 kilometres (100 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 195kph (121mph). The slow-moving typhoon is forecasted to start blowing away from the country on Sunday, passing east of Taiwan and heading toward Okinawa, Japan, early next week.

Among the dead were two brothers who died when a landslide buried a temporary shelter where they took cover in Bakun town in the mountain province of Benguet.

Two other men were killed in separate landslides and a man was pinned to death by a fallen tree, according to the Office of Civil Defense.

Benguet governor Nestor Fongwan reported two other deaths in his province Saturday and added that rescuers were scrambling to dig up two villagers who were buried in a landslide.

Other casualties were swept by rampaging rivers, landslides and a tornado, officials said.

Several flights and ferry trips have been canceled while Hundreds of families were moved to storm shelters in the north. Classes were also scrapped in several towns of metropolitan Manila and nearby provinces due to flooding and danger from the howling wind.

Goni, a Korean word for swan, is the ninth of about 20 storms and typhoons that are expected to batter the Philippines, one of the world's most disaster-prone countries, this year.

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most ferocious storms on record to hit land, devastated large areas of the central Philippines in November 2013, leaving more than 7,300 dead and missing.

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