Five rescue workers in the Philippines have been killed in a typhoon that has caused flooding and power cuts, and has led to tens of thousands of people being evacuated from their homes.
Typhoon Noru – with sustained winds of 115 miles per hour – hit the main island of Luzon at the weekend, where more than half of the country’s 110 million population live – prompting authorities to shut schools, government offices and the stock market through Monday.
The rescuers died in Bulacan province, Governor Daniel Fernando told DZMM radio station, where residents were seen wading through waist-deep waters while some were stranded on rooftops.
More than 74,000 people were evacuated from the typhoon’s path, with President Ferdinand Marcos ordering officials to provide emergency power supply to two provinces north of the capital, Aurora and Nueva Ecija, which were left without electricity.
“The point at which we can stand down is when the majority of evacuees are already back home,” he said at a news conference with disaster management officials.
He also ordered supplies to be airlifted and clean-up equipment provided to the most-affected communities.
Fishing boats and inter-island and cargo ferries were restricted to ports as a precaution, the coastguard said, stranding cargo trucks and more than 2,500 passengers.
More than 30 flights at Manila’s airport, mostly bound for domestic destinations, were cancelled.
Noru made landfall as a category 3 typhoon but weakened as it traversed land on Sunday night.
It was headed out over the South China Sea and toward Vietnam, according to the state weather agency.
About 20 storms and typhoons batter the Philippines each year.
The archipelago also lies in the “Pacific Ring of Fire”, a region along most of the Pacific Ocean rim where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur, making the Southeast Asian nation one of the world’s most disaster-prone.
In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan left more than 7,300 people dead or missing, flattened entire villages, swept ships inland and displaced more than five million people.
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