5 killed, 2.1M without power as ‘Santi’ slams Luzon
MANILA, Philippines – Five people were killed and more than two million are without electricity as typhoon “Santi” (international codename: Nari) pummelled Luzon.
In a press conference on Saturday, National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council spokesman Major Rey Balido said five were killed from the typhoon, including a policeman who was waiting for deployment in Pampanga. He was killed in a landslide.
One was also killed from electrocution, while three were killed from fallen trees in Nueva Ecija.
Four were reported missing: Three fishermen from Catanduanes and one from Dingalan in Aurora.
Power outages were also reported in Aglipay, Quirino province, Alfonso Castaneda, Dupax del Norte, Dupax del Sur and Aritao of Nueva Vizcaya; San Agustin and Jones of Isabela province and Dingalan in Aurora and in 37 towns and cities across Central Luzon.
Road and utility crews were out clearing roads and restoring power, but it could take up to two days before electricity is restored and major highways are reopened to traffic, Nigel Lontoc, a disaster official for the region, told Agence France-Presse by telephone.
A total of 2.1 million people live in the areas now without electricity, according to official population figures.
NDRRMC also reported that 2,302 persons pre-emptively evacuated in 57 villages in the regions of Cagayan and Central Luzon.
About 3,000 people moved into government-run shelters before the typhoon struck amid warnings of flooding and landslides, Lontoc said.
Seventeen villages in Bulacan, a province that lies next to Manila, were under up to 1.2 meters (four feet) of floodwater, he added.
Balido and Lontoc said local officials were tallying the number of damaged homes, many of which had their roofing blown off.
The typhoon spared the capital Manila, where the state weather service had warned on Friday about possible widespread flooding.
No major floods have been reported in the metropolis of more than 12 million people.
After sweeping across the Philippines, Santi blew out to the South China Sea with peak winds of 120 kilometers (75 miles) an hour, the state weather service said.
Projections from the Hong Kong Observatory had the storm gathering pace over the coming days as it heads towards the northeast coast of Vietnam.
The Philippines is hit by about 20 major storms or typhoons each year that occur mainly between June and October.
Originally posted at 11:43 a.m.
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