Typhoon Noru sweeps Philippines, kills at least 5

 Monday, September 26, 2022 

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Typhoon Noru has blown out of the northern Philippines, leaving five rescuers dead.

The most powerful typhoon of the year caused floods and power outages, and forced officials to suspend classes and government work in the capital and outlying provinces.

The typhoon dumped heavy rain and unleashed fierce winds as it swept across the main island of Luzon on Sunday and Monday, toppling trees and flooding low-lying communities.

It slammed into the coast in Burdeos town in Quezon province before nightfall on Sunday.

It then weakened as it barreled overnight across the main Luzon region, where thousands of people moved to emergency shelters, some forcibly, officials said.

Five rescuers, who were using a boat to help residents trapped in floodwaters, were hit by a collapsed wall and then apparently drowned in the rampaging waters.

The Philippines is regularly ravaged by storms, with scientists warning they are becoming more powerful as the world gets warmer because of climate change.

Super Typhoon Noru smashed into the archipelago nation on Sunday after an unprecedented “explosive intensification” in wind speeds, the state weather forecaster said earlier.

It made landfall about 100 kilometres (62 miles) northeast of the densely populated capital Manila, before weakening to a typhoon as it crossed a mountain range, coconut plantations and rice fields.

Nearly 75,000 people were evacuated from their homes before the storm hit, as the meteorology agency warned heavy rain could cause “serious flooding” in vulnerable areas, trigger landslides and destroy crops.

But on Monday morning there was no sign of the widespread devastation many had feared.

The Philippines — ranked among the most vulnerable nations to the impacts of climate change — is hit by an average of 20 storms every year.

The archipelago also lies in the “Pacific Ring of Fire” – a region along most of the Pacific Ocean rim where many volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occur, making the Southeast Asian nation one of the world’s most disaster-prone.

More than 3,000 people were evacuated to safety in Metropolitan Manila, which was lashed by fierce wind and rain overnight.

Classes and government work were suspended Monday in the capital and outlying provinces as a precaution although the morning skies were sunny.

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