Rapid response teams were on stand by with the air force for search and rescue missions as authorities undertook damage assessments in areas in the path of the storm, which felled trees, electricity poles and tore off shop signs and sheet metal roofs hundreds of kilometres away.
had been a category 5 storm for days since wreaking havoc in U.S. Pacific territories of Micronesia before edging towards the Philippines, where it is the 15th and strongest storm this year.
The typhoon’s peak winds were stronger than those of Hurricane Florence, which killed five people in the United States after it piled into the Carolinas knocking down trees, and gorging rivers and causing major power outages before it was downgraded to a tropical storm.
STORM SURGE WARNINGS
Tens of thousands were evacuated from coastal areas of the Philippines following major storm surge warnings. A landslide blocked a major highway outside Baguio on Saturday, the city’s mayor said, while flooding was reported in several provinces and parts of the capital Manila.
Authorities in some areas of northern Luzon turned off power as a precaution, and said some residents in high-risk areas chose to ride out the storm to protect homes from looters.
Rogelio Sending, a government official in Cagayan, where the storm first made landfall, said there were province-wide power and communication outages and reports of uprooted trees blocking roads.