_
_
_
_
_

Typhoon blows off roofs, floods villages and displaces thousands in northern Philippines

There were no immediate reports of casualties after the typhoon slammed into Fuga Island off Aparri town in Cagayan province, where 15,843 people were evacuated from high-risk coastal villages

A handout photo made available by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) shows Coastguard personnel conducting a rescue mission in the flood-hit town of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte province, Philippines, 26 July 2023.
A handout photo made available by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) shows Coastguard personnel conducting a rescue mission in the flood-hit town of Bacarra, Ilocos Norte province, Philippines, 26 July 2023.Philippine Coast Guard (EFE)

Typhoon Doksuri slammed an island and lashed northern Philippine provinces with ferocious wind and rain Wednesday, displacing nearly 16,000 villagers as it blew tin roofs off rural houses, flooded low-lying villages and knocked out power, officials said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties after the typhoon slammed into Fuga Island off Aparri town in Cagayan province, where 15,843 people were evacuated from high-risk coastal villages. Schools and workplaces were shut down as a precaution as Doksuri approached. Thousands of people in other northern provinces were also displaced by the typhoon, which has a 700-kilometer-wide (435-mile-wide) band of wind and rain.

Doksuri weakened slightly but remained dangerous and lethal with sustained winds of 175 kph (109 mph) and gusts of up to 240 kph (149 mph). It was blowing over the coastal waters of the Babuyan Islands in Luzon Strait off Aparri town Wednesday morning, forecasters said.

“Our northern coastal towns are being battered,” Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba told The Associated Press by telephone. “I’m receiving reports of tin roofs being blown away and flooding that could not drain out probably because of tidal surges coming in from the sea.”

A damage assessment would be done after the typhoon passes, but Mamba said he feared there could be extensive damage to Cagayan valley’s corn and rice farms, which have already been battered by a monthslong dry spell before Doksuri hit. At least four entire towns lost power due to the onslaught and six bridges were impassable due to flooding, Cagayan officials said in an initial damage report.

“Violent, life-threatening conditions are expected to continue” on Wednesday over northwestern Cagayan and the outlying Babuyan Islands as well as the northern mountainous regions of Apayao and Ilocos Norte provinces, according to an advisory from the country’s weather bureau.

Coast guard personnel used rubber boats and ropes to evacuate villagers, who were trapped by brownish, waist-level floodwaters in their houses in a village in Bacarra town in Ilocos Norte, said the coast guard.

More than 3,700 inter-island ferry passengers and cargo truck drivers, along with nearly 100 passenger and cargo vessels and motor bancas, were stranded in several ports where a no-sail order was imposed, the Philippine coast guard said.

Disaster-response officials said they were verifying reports of a woman drowning in a swollen creek amid heavy rains Monday in Cardona town southeast of Manila as the typhoon approached from the Pacific.

The typhoon has been enhancing seasonal monsoon rains in central and northern provinces, including in the densely populated capital region of metropolitan Manila. It was forecast to move away from the northern Philippines on Thursday and barrel northwestward to graze past Taiwan’s southwestern coast before hitting southeastern China later this week.

Although it is not poised for a direct hit, Doksuri’s outer bands brought heavy rain and strong winds to Taiwan’s eastern coast Wednesday. Trains were canceled between Kaohsiung and Taitung cities in the south, while ferries to outlying islands have also been put on pause.

Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau reported gusts up to 198 kph (123 mph).

Meanwhile, Taiwan has continued to hold its annual Han Kuang military exercises. The military carried out its first-ever drill at the civilian Taoyuan International Airport on Wednesday morning, according to local media. The drill stopped air traffic for an hour while the military simulated stopping an invasion targeted at the airport.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter to get more English-language news coverage from EL PAÍS USA Edition

More information

Archived In

Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
_
_