Tuesday, 6 December, 2022

Typhoon Noru leaves 5 rescuers dead in Philippines

Typhoon Noru leaves 5 rescuers dead in  Philippines
Residents give away onions and other foods along a flooded road due to Typhoon Noru in San Miguel town, Bulacan province of Philippines on Monday. –AP Photo

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The effects of super Typhoon Noru were felt in the north of the Philippines on Monday, with at least five people dead and several areas inundated, report agencies.

Noru —  the most powerful typhoon the country has seen this year — hit the coast in Burdeos town in Quezon province on Sunday evening. The storm weakened as it continued to move across the main island of Luzon, where thousands of residents were evacuated to emergency shelters.

Sustained winds of 185 kilometers per hour (115 mph) hit Luzon overnight, leading to schools, government offices and the stock market being shut through Monday.

In Bulacan — north of capital Manila — five rescue workers died while trying to help people trapped in floodwaters, the governor of the province said.

The rescuers were said to have been drowned in the raging waters after being hit by a collapsed wall.

They were living heroes who were helping save the lives of our countrymen amid this calamity,’’ Governor Daniel Fernando told DZMM radio network.

This is really very sad.’’

Meanwhile, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered that supplies be airlifted and clean-up equipment provided to the communities which were the worst-affected.

The point at which we can stand down is when the majority of evacuees are already back home, Marcos said at a press conference with disaster management officials on Monday, talking about the 74,000 people who were forced into evacuation centers.

Marcos is scheduled to conduct an aerial survey later in the day.

The president also ordered an emergency supply of power in the provinces of Aurora and Nueva Ecija, which were left without power on Monday.

Many homes were destroyed but all roads are passable and there were no landslides, Helen Tan, Governor of the Quezon province, told DZRH radio station.

Efforts have begun to clear fallen trees and other debris in the province, she added.

By Monday morning, Noru had sustained winds of 140 kph and gusts of 170 kph and was heading westward in the South China Sea at 30 kph,  the state weather agency said.

The Philippines sees an average of 20 tropical storms yearly.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan left 6,300 people dead, becoming one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded.