A category 3 typhoon made landfall in the Philippines early on Sunday, causing the cancellation of some flights and forcing ships to dock as heavy rains and strong winds battered the northern rice-growing island of Luzon.
Weather forecasters said Typhoon Sarika, packing winds of up to 150kph before making landfall, could be the most destructive this year.
Typhoon Sarika forced the cancellation of about 160 domestic and international flights and stranded more than 6,500 travellers in seaports, disaster officials said.
Sarika’s wind speeds subsided to about 130 kph (81 mph) after landfall, according to the weather bureau. The bureau said it was also watching another storm, Haima, that could enter the Philippines on Monday (October 17) after forming south of Guam on Saturday.
Damage caused by Sarika to crops, mostly rice and corn, was estimated at 53.5 million pesos ($1.1 million), disaster officials said.
Some areas were left without power, and major dams were being closely monitored for possible overflow.
Floods and landslides blocked five roads in the northern and southern provinces of the main island of Luzon.