World

Philippine typhoon: 3 dead, flights and SEA Games events affected

Kammuri also caused 16 water-based, outdoor SEA Games events to be postponed

MANILA: At least 17 flights from Singapore to the Philippines were rescheduled or cancelled because of Typhoon Kammuri, which has already killed three people.

They include flights from Singapore Airlines, Scoot, Cebu Pacific Air and Jetstar, The Straits Times reported.

All flights affected were between Singapore and Manila, with the exception of two Scoot flights to and from Clark city on Luzon, some 100km north from Manila.

The typhoon, packing winds of up to 155kmh, also affected half the scheduled events at the SEA Games in the country, AFP reported.

One of the sports was underwater hockey.

Mr Shawn Chue, team manager of Singapore's underwater hockey team, told The Straits Times: "We were informed of the postponement early this morning by the competition manager once they determined that the typhoon would affect the competition and the decision was made to ensure the safety of all the athletes and spectators."

He said the team had been briefed on the contingency plans two days earlier, before the start of the competition and matches have been compressed into the remaining two days of tournament.

The storm, which made landfall late on Monday, wrought particular havoc on water-based and outdoor events, causing approximately 16 of them to be postponed.

"It is not safe to play and we apologise," Mr Ramon Suzara, the organising committee's chief operating officer, told a news conference, announcing the rescheduling.

Roughly 17 other competitions - primarily indoor ones - were supposed to go ahead as planned, a statement from the organisers said.

Kammuri brought high winds and heavy rains across the northern Philippines but did not directly hit the region around the capital Manila, home to the three main event hubs.

Organisers stressed that the Games will not "go beyond its scheduled finish on Dec 11".

"We are prepared to take the necessary precautionary measures to secure the safety of all of our guests and athletes," their statement added.

The authorities evacuated some 225,000 people ahead of the arrival overnight of Typhoon Kammuri, Reuters reported.

Officials said the precautions prevented a greater loss of life, while warnings of floods, storm surges and landslides were issued in the wake of the country's 20th typhoon of the year.

"We have seen great improvement in local government management of preparations for disasters," disaster agency spokesman Mark Timbal told news channel ANC.

A man died after being electrocuted while trying to fix his roof in Camarines Sur province, said a civil defence official. Two people who ignored a mandatory evacuation were killed in Oriental Mindoro, one hit by a falling tree and the other by a sheet of metal roofing material.

WORLD