MANILA, Philippines — Typhoon Noru ripped through the northern Philippines on Monday, leaving five rescuers dead, causing flooding and power outages and forcing officials to suspend classes and government work in the capital and outlying provinces.
The most powerful typhoon to hit the country this year slammed into the coast of Burdeos city in Quezon province before nightfall on Sunday, then weakened as it spread overnight across the main Luzon region, where thousands of people were moved to emergency shelters. some forced, officials said.
Governor Daniel Fernando of Bulacan province, north of Manila, said five rescuers who used a boat to help residents trapped in the floodwaters were hit by a collapsed wall, then apparently drowned in the raging waters .
“They were living heroes helping to save the lives of our countrymen in the midst of this disaster,” Fernando told radio network DZMM. “This is really very sad.”
On Polillo Island in northeastern Quezon province, a man was injured after falling from the roof of his house, officials said.
A resident swims past strong waves as Typhoon Noru approaches the coastal district of Tondo in Manila, the Philippines, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022.
More than 17,000 people have been moved to emergency shelters from high-risk communities prone to tides, floods and landslides in Quezon alone, officials said.
More than 3,000 people were evacuated to safety in Metro Manila, which was battered by strong winds and rain overnight. Classes and government work were suspended on Monday in the capital and outlying provinces as a precaution, although skies were sunny in the morning.
The entire northern provinces of Aurora and Nueva Ecija, which were hit by the typhoon, remained without power on Monday and repair crews are working to restore power, Energy Secretary Rafael Lotilla told President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in a televised meeting that he convened to assess damage and coordinate disaster response.
Marcos Jr. praised officials for evacuating thousands of people to safety as a precaution before the typhoon hit, which prevented a large number of casualties despite Noru’s potentially catastrophic strength.
Noru underwent “explosive intensification” over the open Pacific Ocean before hitting the Philippines, Vicente Malano, who heads the country’s weather agency, told The Associated Press on Sunday.
From sustained winds of 85 kilometers per hour (53 mph) on Saturday, Noru was a super typhoon just 24 hours later with sustained winds of 195 kilometers (121 mph) and gusts of up to 240 km/h (149 mph ) at its peak late on Sunday.
By Monday morning, Noru had sustained winds of 140 km/h (87 mph) and gusts of 170 km/h (105 mph) and was moving westward in the South China Sea at 30 km/h (19 mph). h), according to the meteorological agency.
About 20 storms and typhoons hit the Philippines every year. The archipelago is also located in the “Pacific Ring of Fire,” a region along most of the Pacific coast where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur, making the Southeast Asian nation one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world.
In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the world’s strongest tropical cyclones on record, left more than 7,300 people dead or missing, leveled entire villages, swept ships inland and displaced more than 5 million in the central Philippines — well south from Noru Road.
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