Ilagan, Oct 30 (AP/UNB) — A strong typhoon blew across the northern Philippines on Tuesday, leaving a 5-year-old girl dead and at least three other people missing, knocking out power in entire provinces and forcing thousands to flee from villages that were hit by a deadly storm last month.
Typhoon Yutu weakened considerably from its earlier super typhoon status before slamming into the Philippines' northeastern Isabela province before dawn. It knocked down trees and power posts and ripped roofs off houses and stores, officials said.
The storm weakened further as it blew across the Sierra Madre mountain range and then barreled westward through Nueva Vizcaya, Benguet and La Union provinces, where an earlier typhoon, Mangkhut, left more than 100 people dead and missing in mid-September.
From La Union, Yutu began blowing out into the South China Sea, forecasters said.
Yutu's sustained winds of 150 kilometers (93 miles) per hour when it hit the Philippines were considerably less than the 290 kph (180 mph) registered earlier as it tore through the U.S. Pacific territory of the Northern Mariana Islands, where it knocked out power, destroyed homes and delayed elections.
Still, Yutu's winds and rain caused massive power outages in Isabela and outlying provinces, officials said.
A 5-year-old girl died in a landslide in Lubuagan town in Kalinga province, local officials and police said.
In Abra province, a man went missing when he tried to cross the rampaging waters of Binongan River. Two villagers managed to swim to safety when their wooden boat capsized in a river in Kalinga province but a companion was swept away by strong currents, officials said.
A fisherman was missing in Quezon province after venturing out into the sea before the typhoon struck despite being warned of the risk.
More than 10,000 villagers moved to emergency shelters in several northern provinces. In Cagayan province, Gov. Manuel Mamba said by telephone that despite improving weather after the typhoon passed, he asked hundreds of villagers not to return immediately to their homes near a swollen river.
"We didn't even have to do forced evacuations. The people are still scared. They readily moved from the mountainsides and away from the river after our police declared it was time to evacuate," said Mayor Victorio Palangdan of Itogon, a gold-mining mountain town where more than 90 villagers earlier died mostly due to landslides set off by Mangkhut.
More than 1,000 villagers moved to emergency shelters in Itogon in Benguet province, which was directly hit by Yutu, Palangdan said by telephone.
Mangkhut left more than 100 people dead and missing, mostly in Itogon and nearby mountain towns, and caused considerable damage to vegetable, corn and rice farms because it struck during the harvest season.
One of the world's most disaster-prone countries, the Philippines is battered by about 20 typhoons and storms each year. It is also located in the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," the arc of seismic faults around the Pacific Ocean where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common.