Philippines Typhoon Goni death toll rises to 16 - GulfToday

Philippines Typhoon Goni death toll rises to 16


Workers collect garbage along a mud-covered road after floodwaters caused by Typhoon Goni in Batangas city. AP

Gulf Today Report

As communications to the worst-hit areas remained cut off as officials said on Monday that the most powerful typhoon to hit the Philippines this year destroyed tens of thousands of homes and killed at least 16 people.

Authorities have issued warning of "catastrophic" conditions in the hardest-hit regions where hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.

Typhoon Goni is the strongest storm recorded anywhere in the world so far this year, and ahead of its landfall in the Philippines.


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Goni was downgraded from a "super typhoon" as it swept across the southern end of the most populous island Luzon towards the capital Manila, the state weather forecaster said in its latest update.

The mayor of Guinobatan, where the villages are located, told local media that around 147 homes had been swamped and some were now unlivable.

Goni was ranked as a "super typhoon" when it made landfall on Catanduanes where at least six people died and authorities estimate most houses and infrastructure were damaged or destroyed.

Rescue workers help an evacuee onto a waiting vehicle during an evacuation on Sunday. AFP

Across the areas in Goni's path, more than 20,000 houses were destroyed and around 55,500 partially damaged, Civil Defense said in a statement. Farmland was also damaged.

At least four people, including a five-year-old, were killed in Albay province, Governor Alfrancis Bichara told a local radio station.

Two of the victims drowned while another was swept away by volcanic mud. The fourth was killed by a falling tree.

"The winds are fierce. We can hear the trees being pummelled. It's very strong," Francia Mae Borras, 21, told the media from her home in the coastal city of Legazpi in Albay.

The roofs of two evacuation centres were torn off by the force of the wind and the occupants moved to the ground floors, the provincial public safety chief Cedric Daep told DZBB radio station.

A rescue worker escorts a child to a waiting vehicle during an evacuation. AFP

"Flash floods inundated our villages," said Carlos Irwin Baldo, the mayor of Camalig, near Legazpi.

"Our roads have a lot of debris from the mountains such as branches and sand, some which came from Mayon (volcano). Some roads are unpassable."

So far, 346,993 people have been evacuated from their homes, Civil Defence chief Ricardo Jalad said.

Between 19 million and 31 million people could be affected by the typhoon, including those in danger zones and in metropolitan Manila, the disaster management agency said.

President Rodrigo Duterte was monitoring the government's disaster response from his southern hometown Davao city, according to presidential spokesman Harry Roque.

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