PHILIPPINES – Thousands of villagers were forced to evacuate their homes after a fast-moving typhoon caused landfall in south of Manila, flooding in rural areas and ripping off roofs and powerlines, according to local authorities.
There were no immediate reports of casualties from Typhoon Molave, but authorities on Monday said at least one person was missing and seven others were rescued after their yacht sank off Batangas province in south of Manila.
At least 25,000 villagers were displaced with about 20,000 taking shelter in schools and government buildings which were turned into evacuation centers, according to the Office of Civil Defense.
“Villagers are now asking to be rescued because of the sudden wind which blew away roofs,” Humerlito Dolor, governor of Oriental Mindoro province, told DZMM radio.
Dolor said pounding rains overnight swamped farming villages in his province, then fierce winds toppled trees and power posts early on Monday, knocking out power. Authorities were clearing roads of fallen trees and debris in some towns after the typhoon passed, he said.
The typhoon has sustained winds of 125 kilometers per hour (77 miles/hour) and gusts of up to 180 km/h (112mph) and was blowing westward at 25 km/h (15 mph). Molave is expected to start blowing out of the country into the South China Sea on Monday, government forecasters said.
About 20 typhoons and storms annually batter the Philippines, and the Southeast Asian archipelago is seismically active, with earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, making it one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries.
SOURCE: NEWS AGENCIES