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Typhoon leaves islands staggered

Flooding, 5 deaths caused by storm by JIM GOMEZ The Associated Press | September 26, 2022 at 5:08 a.m.
A man works as rain pours while Typhoon Noru approaches Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. The powerful typhoon shifted and abruptly gained strength in an "explosive intensification" Sunday as it blew closer to the northeastern Philippines, prompting evacuations from high-risk villages and even the capital, which could be sideswiped by the storm, officials said. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

MANILA, Philippines -- A powerful typhoon slammed into the northeastern Philippines on Sunday and was barreling across the main Luzon island toward the capital in a densely populated path where thousands have been evacuated to safety.

Typhoon Noru hit the coastal town of Burdeos on Polillo Island in Quezon province shortly before nightfall.

With sustained winds of 121 miles per hour and gusts of up to 149 mph, it was expected to weaken slightly when it hits the Sierra Madre mountain range but will remain dangerously ferocious, forecasters said.

"The typhoon is strong and we live by the sea," said Marilen Yubatan, who left her shanty in Manila with her two young daughters. "If we fall into the water, I don't know where I will end up with my children."

The typhoon gained considerable strength from a storm with sustained winds of 53 mph Saturday into a super typhoon just 24 hours later in an "explosive intensification" over the open sea, Vicente Malano, who heads the country's weather agency, told The Associated Press.

Thousands of villagers were evacuated -- some forcibly -- from the typhoon's path, as well as from mountainside villages prone to landslides and flash floods. Coastal communities could be hit by tidal surges as high as about 10 feet in Quezon province, including Polillo island and nearby Aurora province.

"The combined effects of storm surge and high waves breaking along the coast may cause life-threatening and damaging inundation or flooding," the weather agency warned.

In Manila's seaside slum district of Tondo, some residents left their homes with bags of belongings and hurriedly walked to a nearby evacuation center as the sky darkened and rain started to fall.

Melchor Avenilla Jr., who heads Quezon's disaster response office, said police were under orders to forcibly move people who refuse to leave their homes. "But so far we've been able to do this by just appealing to people," Avenilla told The Associated Press by phone.

Several provinces and cities, including the densely populated capital Manila, suspended classes and government work Sunday and today. The typhoon's eye could pass about 25 to 30 miles from metropolitan Manila, "which is nearly a direct hit," Malano said.

Fishing boats and inter-island and cargo ferries were restricted to port as a precaution, the coast guard said, stranding cargo trucks and more than 2,500 passengers. More than 30 flights at Manila's airport, mostly bound for domestic destinations, were canceled.

The typhoon is forecast to sweep through the main Luzon Island overnight and into the South China Sea today. It's on track to hit Vietnam later in the week, still maintaining its powerful winds.

About 20 storms and typhoons batter the Philippines each 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.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest recorded tropical cyclones in the world, left more than 7,300 people dead or missing, flattened entire villages, swept ships inland and displaced more than 5 million in the central Philippines -- well to the south of Noru's path.

Information for this article was contributed by Joeal Calupitan and Aaron Favila of The Associated Press.

  photo  Rains start to pour as Typhoon Noru approaches Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. The powerful typhoon shifted and abruptly gained strength in an "explosive intensification" Sunday as it blew closer to the northeastern Philippines, prompting evacuations from high-risk villages and even the capital, which could be sideswiped by the storm, officials said. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
 
 
  photo  A resident secures his roof as Typhoon Noru approaches the seaside slum district of Tondo in Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. The powerful typhoon shifted and abruptly gained strength in an "explosive intensification" Sunday as it blew closer to the northeastern Philippines, prompting evacuations from high-risk villages and even the capital, which could be sideswiped by the storm, officials said. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
 
 
  photo  A girl walks past a boat that was placed on higher ground as they prepare for the approach of Typhoon Noru at the seaside slum district of Tondo while Typhoon Noru approaches Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. The powerful typhoon shifted and abruptly gained strength in an "explosive intensification" Sunday as it blew closer to the northeastern Philippines, prompting evacuations from high-risk villages and even the capital, which could be sideswiped by the storm, officials said. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
 
 
  photo  A resident secures his boat as Typhoon Noru approaches the seaside slum district of Tondo in Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. The powerful typhoon shifted and abruptly gained strength in an "explosive intensification" Sunday as it blew closer to the northeastern Philippines, prompting evacuations from high-risk villages and even the capital, which could be sideswiped by the storm, officials said. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
 
 
  photo  This Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022 satellite image released by NASA shows Typhoon Noru approaching Philippines. (NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) via AP)
 
 
  photo  A resident swims along strong waves as Typhoon Noru approaches the seaside slum district of Tondo in Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. The powerful typhoon shifted and abruptly gained strength in an "explosive intensification" Sunday as it blew closer to the northeastern Philippines, prompting evacuations from high-risk villages and even the capital, which could be sideswiped by the storm, officials said. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
 
 
  photo  Rescuers run as they check residents living at the seaside slum district of Tondo while Typhoon Noru approaches Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. The powerful typhoon shifted and abruptly gained strength in an "explosive intensification" Sunday as it blew closer to the northeastern Philippines, prompting evacuations from high-risk villages and even the capital, which could be sideswiped by the storm, officials said. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
 
 
  photo  A man carries bags of food while another reinforces their roof as they prepare for the coming of Typhoon Noru in Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. The powerful typhoon shifted and abruptly gained strength in an "explosive intensification" Sunday as it blew closer to the northeastern Philippines, prompting evacuations from high-risk villages and even the capital, which could be sideswiped by the storm, officials said. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
 
 
  photo  Residents carry their children as they evacuate to safer grounds to prepare for the coming of Typhoon Noru at the seaside slum district of Tondo in Manila, Philippines, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022. The powerful typhoon shifted and abruptly gained strength in an "explosive intensification" Sunday as it blew closer to the northeastern Philippines, prompting evacuations from high-risk villages and even the capital, which could be sideswiped by the storm, officials said. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)
 
 

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