World

Typhoon Nock-Ten kills 4 in Philippines, threatens Manila

LIGAO, PHILIPPINES: A powerful typhoon left at least four dead and threatened to bring heavy rains and winds to the Philippine capital as it dragged its way across the archipelago yesterday.

Typhoon Nock-Ten, which made landfall on the eastern island province of Catanduanes on Sunday, is forecast to move towards the country's heartland, packing winds of 215kmh.

A couple were reported killed by a flood while an elderly man was crushed by a falling wall, the governor of the storm-ravaged eastern province of Albay, Mr Al Bichara, said.

More than 383,000 people have fled their homes while more than 80 domestic and international flights have been cancelled, the civil defence office said.

The government weather station said Nock-Ten is moving north-west at 20kmh and is expected to affect Manila and the surrounding area.

The city of about 13 million was eerily quiet the day after Christmas with holiday revellers staying indoors as the storm approached.

The civil defence office said the capital could suffer "heavy to intense rains, flash floods and severe winds", with rescue boats ready to be deployed in case the rivers overflow.

The storm previously cut off electricity to millions and forced government agencies to order evacuations of whole communities in the eastern region of Bicol which felt the brunt of the storm on Christmas day.

CAKED IN MUD

In the Bicol town of Ligao, many streets and farms were in ankle-deep water while some homes were caked in mud.

Masseuse Erna Angela Pintor, 20, said her family spent Christmas in fear as the winds ripped off part of their roof.

"This was supposed to be a celebration, but we can't celebrate. This is a sad Christmas. No one (in the family) died but a lot of our neighbours' homes were washed away." 
- AFP

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