Typhoon Yutu pummeled the northern Philippines on Tuesday, forcing about 10,000 people to flee their homes as heavy rains and strong winds blew away tin roofs, uprooted trees and knocked out power lines, disaster relief officials said.
Officials said it was too early to say if there were any casualties. They said many residents had been warned days before the typhoon hit land.
“Moderate to heavy rains directly associated with the typhoon are expected over northern and central Luzon,” said Ricardo Jalad, head of the government’s disaster risk-reduction agency.
“Residents in these areas, especially those living near river channels, in low-lying areas and mountainous areas are advised to take appropriate actions against possible flooding and landslides,” he said.
Packing winds of up to 150 km (93 miles) per hour Yutu, locally named Rosita, made landfall in the northeast of Luzon island at dawn and barreled its way westward, the state weather bureau said.
Its arrival was weaker than when it devastated the Northern Mariana Islands – a U.S. territory about 9,000 km (5,600 miles) west of the U.S. mainland – late last week. Yutu obliterated the island of Tinian and parts of Saipan, the largest island, with 180 mph winds, according to Reuters.
Tropical cyclone warnings of varying intensities were hoisted in some 30 provinces, including in the capital Manila, where it rained most of the day. Classes in many areas were also suspended Tuesday, while up to 30 domestic and international flights were cancelled.
Yutu is the 16th typhoon to hit the Philippines in 2018.The country is hit by up to 20 or so storms a year, some of them devastating. It came a month after typhoon Mangkhut cut a similar path, dumping heavy rains across a large area of Luzon and causing landslides that left at least 150 dead.
Mangkhut was the most powerful storm to hit the archipelago since 2013, when Supertyphoon Haiyan cut across the country, killing thousands.
On Tuesday, Sen. Richard Gordon, head of the Philippine Red Cross, said volunteers rescued two elderly people inside their homes in the town of Bambang in northern Nueva Vizcaya province.
The two were “trapped inside their house due to high and intense flooding in their area,” in the village of Abian, Gordon said.
On Monday, authorities in the mountain mining town of Itogon, where many were buried alive in last month’s storm, evacuated hundreds of residents.