Typhoon Molave displaces thousands, floods villages in Philippines

Asia

MANILA: A fast-moving typhoon forced thousands of villagers to flee to safety in provinces south of the Philippine capital on Monday (Oct 26), flooding rural villages and ripping off roofs, officials said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from Typhoon Molave, but authorities reported at least 12 fishermen were missing and seven people were rescued after their yacht sank off Batangas province south of Manila.

The typhoon has sustained winds of 125kmh and gusts of up to 180kmh and was blowing westward at 25kmh. Molave is expected to start blowing out of the country into the South China Sea on Monday, government forecasters said.


Philippines Asia Typhoon

At least 25,000 villagers were displaced with about 20,000 taking shelter in schools and government buildings. (Photo: AP)

At least 25,000 villagers were displaced with about 20,000 taking shelter in schools and government buildings which were turned into evacuation centres, 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.


Philippines Asia Typhoon

The typhoon has flooded rural villages and ripped off roofs. (Photo: AP)

Dolor said pounding rains overnight swamped farming villages in his province then fierce winds toppled trees and power posts early on Monday, knocking off power. Authorities were clearing roads of fallen trees and debris in some towns after the typhoon passed, he said.

More than 1,800 cargo truck drivers, workers and passengers were stranded in ports after the coast guard barred ships and ferry boats from venturing into rough seas.

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.


Molave hits the Philippines

Residents evacuate from their home in the coastal area of Legaspi City, Albay province south of Manila on Oct 25, 2020, ahead of tropical storm Molave’s expected landfall. (AFP/Charism SAYAT)

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