Typhoon Sarika: Two dead in the Philippines and thousands flee their homes
MANILA // Typhoon Sarika on Sunday lashed the main Philippine island of Luzon, flattening buildings and toppling trees and power pylons as more than 12,000 people fled to safety.
The typhoon weakened as it moved toward the South China Sea, but the local weather bureau said it was monitoring another storm that could reach the eastern boundary by Monday.
Weather forecasters said Sarika packed winds of up to 120kph on Sunday as it left the Philippines.
“We were told roofs were ripped off houses and there were fallen trees but that’s about the extent of damage that we know of,” said Ricardo Jalad, head of the national disaster risk reduction and management council.
Nelianto Bihasa, the mayor of the town of Baler where Sarika made landfall before dawn, said that the typhoon destroyed at least 20 houses and injured one person.
“Many trees and power pylons were toppled,” he said, adding the coastal town of 36,000 people was without electricity.
Government crews and utility workers went to work clearing roads blocked by landslides, toppled trees and posts and other debris.
Some towns began sending people in shelters back to their homes as the danger passed.
The weather service warned the nation to brace for a second storm, with Typhoon Haima expected to strike the same area as early as Thursday.
As many as 2,552 families, or about 12,500 people, left their homes before Sarika struck, seeking refuge in government-run shelters and relatives’ homes.
Eleven people were rescued after a boat capsized off the eastern island of Samar on Friday.
Meanwhile, about 1,000 boats and 6,500 passengers were stranded in ports as the coastguard barred smaller vessels from putting to sea and ferry services were cancelled.
* Agence France-Presse, Reuters
Updated: October 16, 2016 04:00 AM