Typhoon Tisoy kills two, rips off roof, topples trees, shuts down airport
MANILA, Philippines — Two people have been reported killed in Oriental Mindoro from the onslaught of Typhoon Tisoy (international name: Kammuri).
A 59-year-old man died after a tree fell on him, while another was killed after being crushed by a roof that blew off a structure, Oriental Mindoro Gov. Hurmelito Dolor told radio network DZMM.
“It’s unfortunate but it could have been worse if we did not carry out the preemptive evacuation. We have prepared properly for this with the help of the Philippine Army and Philippine National Police, along with local government units,” he said.
The typhoon forced mass evacuations in several areas, toppled trees, tore roofs of houses and forced the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to shut down for 12 hours, or until 11 p.m. Monday.
Schools and government offices in Metro Manila and elsewhere were canceled. Sea travel was also suspended in areas along the typhoon’s path.
So far, Tisoy had made four landfalls and it will continue to bring rains in parts of Luzon and Visayas.
Ahead of the storm’s arrival a 33-year-old man was electrocuted on Monday while securing a roof against the winds, which by late Tuesday weakened to a maximum of 140 kilometers per hour.
Authorities were still assessing the storm’s impact, but a small local airport was seriously damaged, many power poles toppled and homes were battered.
“A lot of trees fell… There were a lot of roofs flying during the typhoon too,” said Junie Castillo, a disaster officer in one of the areas first hit.
Due to the high winds, Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport was “closed for operations”, general manager Ed Monreal told AFP.
It was not clear when flights would resume, but authorities gave an estimate of 11:00 pm (1500 GMT) Tuesday and said their decision would depend on the weather.
Nearly 500 flights were cancelled, and officials warned passengers not to come to the airport.
About 340,000 people had been evacuated from their homes in the central Bicol region, disaster officials said.
The Philippines is hit by an average of 20 storms and typhoons each year, killing hundreds and putting people in disaster-prone areas in a state of constant poverty.
The country’s deadliest cyclone on record was Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing in 2013.
Tisoy had already snarled some plans for the SEA Games, which opened Saturday and are set to run through December 11 in and around Manila.
The typhoon forced organizers to reschedule about half of the events set for Tuesday, but they pledged the competition would finish on time.
Kammuri wrought particular havoc on water-based and outdoor competitions, causing more than a dozen events to be postponed.
The storm is another difficulty for the Games, which suffered from a string of logistical glitches and a rush of last-minute construction in the run-up to Saturday’s opening.
The competition, which is spread across three main sites that are hours’ drive apart, includes a Games-record 56 sports and dozens of venues.
Around 8,750 athletes and team officials are expected at this year’s 30th edition — the biggest ever — along with another 12,000 volunteers.
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