Super typhoon Saola affects nearly 200,000 in Philippines

Super typhoon Saola has triggered floods and landslides in seven regions in the Philippines, affecting nearly 200,000 people, the government said on Wednesday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said at least one person was reported missing. No death has been reported so far.

The disaster management agency said Saola flooded 193 areas and triggered 12 landslides on main Luzon island and the central Philippines. More than 35,000 of the displaced residents are still in temporary shelters.

Saola intensified into a super typhoon at dawn on Sunday, dumping heavy rain and severe winds in the northern Philippines.

The Philippine State Weather Bureau said Saola maintained its strength on Wednesday as it moved west-northwestward at 15 km per hour over the northernmost province of Batanes, packing sustained winds of 195 km per hour and gusts of up to 240 km per hour.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said Saola will continue to bring heavy rain, especially in mountainous areas, which could trigger more flooding and landslides.

Saola is the seventh typhoon to lash the Philippines this year, and will likely remain a super typhoon until Friday, the agency said, adding that severe tropical storm Haikui is also approaching the Philippines, threatening areas in northern Luzon. ■

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