Typhoon weakens as it crosses Philippines

Typhoon Halong weakened as it crossed the northern Philippines on Sunday after displacing more than 7 000 people and causing landslides and flashfloods, officials said.

Dozens of houses and other infrastructure were damaged in the northern provinces of Zambales, Pangasinan and Dagupan due to Halong’s strong winds and heavy rains.

”Damages to infrastructure are very serious, but with regard to casualties, we have not received any report so far,” said Anthony Golez, deputy chief of the National Disaster Coordinating Council.

The council said Halong forced almost 2 000 people to flee their homes in Zambales, while more than 5 000 people were left homeless in the central province of Iloilo due to landslides and flashfloods.

Golez said additional damage reports were expected from local disaster coordinating councils as the weather cleared.

The weather bureau said Halong has continued ”to weaken while traversing the mountainous terrain” of the northern Philippines.

It was moving north-east at 19km/h with maximum sustained winds of 85km/h and gusts of up to 100km/h.

Halong was forecast to be outside the Philippines and 440km south-east of Okinawa, Japan on Tuesday.

The weather bureau, however, warned that Halong will continue to enhance the south-west monsoon and bring rains over the northern and central Philippines.

”Residents in low-lying areas and near mountain slopes are advised to take all the necessary precautions against possible flashfloods and landslides,” it said in a bulletin. — Sapa-dpa

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