Typhoon Goni: thousands of homes in Philippines feared destroyed | World news

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Thousands of homes and buildings are feared damaged or destroyed following a devastating typhoon that slammed into the Philippines on Sunday, causing mudslides and flooding.

Almost 1 million people were evacuated from the projected path of Typhoon Goni, the world’s strongest typhoon this year, which struck the country with gusts of up to 310km/h (190mph). The death toll stood at 16 on Monday.

Manila escaped the worst of the storm, but provinces south of the capital were badly affected. In Virac, on Catanduanes island, home to more than 70,000 people, the Red Cross estimates that as many as nine in 10 homes have been either damaged or destroyed. Electricity, water and phone networks were cut off across Catanduanes, a province of 275,000 people, while many roads were inaccessible.

In Albay province, more than 300 homes are believed to have been buried under volcanic rocks, representative Zaldy Co, of the Ako Bicol party-list, said in a statement. Ten people in the province have reportedly died.

The Philippine president, Rodrigo Duterte, was due to conduct an aerial inspection of the worst-affected areas on Monday. He has been criticised for not appearing at a press briefing on the national response to the typhoon, which is among the most powerful to have hit the country since Haiyan killed more than 6,300 people in 2013.

“The goal should be zero casualties but since people were forcibly evacuated our casualties were reduced,” said Harry Roque, spokesman for Duterte.

Across Luzon, the country’s largest and most populous island, about 2.1 million residents were affected by Goni, with more than 50,000 homes left without power on Monday.

The Philippines is already struggling to cope with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, and the typhoon has exacerbated the strain on resources. The Philippines has one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in south-east Asia, with more than 383,000 cases and more than 7,200 deaths.

“This typhoon has smashed into people’s lives and livelihoods on top of the relentless physical, emotional and economic toll of Covid-19,” said Philippine Red Cross chairman, Richard Gordon.

Super typhoon Goni causes heavy floods in several Philippine provinces – video

Goni was the fourth typhoon to hit the Philippines over the past month, and comes just a week after typhoon Molave, which killed 22 people and forced 120,000 people to flee to safety. Another storm, Atsani, has been gaining strength as it approached the Philippines.

On Wednesday night, Goni is expected to make landfall on the central coast of Vietnam, where about 160 people have been killed in floods and landslides triggered by storms over the past month.

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Typhoon Goni: thousands of homes in Philippines feared destroyed | World news

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