Super typhoon

PAGUDPUD, PHILIPPINES – Super Typhoon Haima, the strongest cyclone to hit the Philippines in three years, toppled power and communication lines, damaged houses and displaced thousands as it made landfall in the north of the country

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Fear of massive damage from the Category 5 storm, with destructive 225 kmh (140 mph) winds before it crossed the Cagayan province coast on Wednesday, saw schools and government offices shut in many parts of the main Luzon island and several flights cancelled.

Haima weakened over land on Thursday, prompting the weather bureau to lift storm warning signals in some areas.

Mina Marasigan, spokeswoman at the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said the agency had received several reports of infrastructure damage particularly in Cagayan but so far there were no confirmed reports of any casualties.

“We have received several reports of roofs that were ripped off because of strong winds. Even the operations centre of the Office of Civil Defense in (Cagayan) was not spared,” she said.

Isabela Governor Faustino Dy III advised people in his province to stay indoors, including those displaced families in evacuation centres.

“The rivers are still swelling. They must wait for local officials to announce if it is safe to go out,” he said in a radio interview.

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