Typhoon Noru strikes Philippines, leaves 5 dead

The Philippines has begun cleaning up after Typhoon Noru swept across the northern part of the country, leaving five rescuers dead, floods and power cuts but leaving the capital relatively unscathed.

Noru, with sustained winds of 185km/h (115 mph), was the most powerful typhoon to hit the Southeast Asian nation this year.

The storm hit the coast before nightfall on Sunday at Burdeos town in Quezon province and weakened as it crossed into the main Luzon region overnight, prompting authorities to shut schools, government offices and the stock market.

Thousands of people were moved to emergency shelters, officials.

Governor Daniel Fernando of Bulacan province, north of Manila, said five rescuers, who were using a boat to help residents trapped in floodwaters, were hit by a collapsed wall and then apparently drowned in the rampaging waters.

“They were living heroes who were helping save the lives of our countrymen amid this calamity,” Fernando told the DZMM radio network. “This is really very sad.”

More than 17,000 people were moved to emergency shelters from high-risk communities prone to tidal surges, flooding and landslides in Quezon alone, officials said.

In Metropolitan Manila, more than 3,000 people were evacuated to safety.

About 20 storms and typhoons batter the Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7,600 islands, each year.

Last December, some 400 people were killed by Typhoon Rai, which the local Red Cross said destroyed or damaged some 1.5 million homes.

In 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded, left close to 8,000 people dead or missing, Entire villages were flattened and ships swept inland as the storm swept across the southern Philippines.

Source – AlJazeera