Typhoon Haima rampages N Philippines, at least 8 dead
One of the most powerful typhoons to ever hit the Philippines killed at least eight people on Thursday as ferocious gales and landslides destroyed tens of thousands of homes. Super Typhoon Haima struck Wednesday night with winds similar to those of catastrophic Haiyan in 2013, which was then the strongest storm to strike the Southeast Asian archipelago and had claimed more than 7,350 lives.
Haima roared across mountain and farming communities of the northern regions of Luzon, causing widespread destruction and killing at least eight people, authorities said. “We were frightened because of the strong winds. There was no power, no help coming,” said Jovy Dalupan, 20, in San Pablo, a badly damaged town in Isabela province.
Haima hit coastal towns facing the Pacific Ocean with sustained winds of 225 km (140 miles) an hour, and wind gusts of up to 315 km. It weakened overnight as it rammed into giant mountain ranges and by Thursday morning had passed over the western edge of Luzon and into the South China Sea, heading towards southern China.
The governor of Cagayan, neighbouring Isabela where Haima made landfall, said the entire region was without power as he reported widespread destruction. “Almost every house here has been damaged,” governor Manuel Mamba said.
President Rodrigo Duterte said all possible preparations had been made for Haima, with tens of thousands of people evacuated, but he still struck an ominous tone.