Typhoon slams into northern Philippines

A powerful typhoon slammed into the northeastern tip of the Philippines today, tearing roofs off houses and uprooting trees, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.





Officials said Typhoon Parma, the strongest typhoon to hit the country since 2006, may not be as destructive as feared since it had made landfall in the sparsely-populated Cagayan province and would weaken over land.



The system brought rain across the main island of Luzon but not as much as feared, especially along the densely-populated west coast where floods in and around Manila from Typhoon Ketsana last week killed nearly 300 people.



"The eye of the typhoon is looping right now in the eastern portion of Cagayan province," chief weather forecaster Nathaniel Cruz told local radio, adding that the typhoon had maximum sustained winds of 110 mph near the centre and gusts of up to 130 mph.



In Manila, a storm signal posted for the capital region overnight was lifted, but officials warned nearly half a million people living in shelters after their homes were flooded last week to stay put.



"There is still a risk of rain," President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo said on national television. "We ask the evacuees to stay one more night in evacuation centers.



Authorities in Taiwan issued a sea warning as Parma was likely to enter its southern waters in the next few days.



On the Philippines' east coast, about 2,600 people were left stranded because of impassable roads in the Bicol region and on the island of Catanduanes, relief officials said.



Fallen trees and landslides had blocked roads in Cagayan and neighbouring Isabela province as well.



"So many trees have been uprooted, blocking roads," regional police chief Robert Damian told reporters. "Galvanised iron sheets from houses are flying all over and power and communications are also down."



Some areas had been flooded, but there were no reports of deaths, he said.



Troops are evacuating entire communities from the east coast and almost 100,000 have already been shifted to safer areas, officials said. Arroyo declared a nationwide calamity on Friday to allow local governments to access emergency funds and cap the prices of essential goods.



Officials said some 5.5 billion pesos (£72.5m) in crops, mostly rice about to be harvested, were damaged by Ketsana last week. The damage to bridges and roads was estimated at 1.6 billion pesos (£21m).



The Asia-Pacific region has been hit by a series of natural disasters in recent days, including Ketsana that killed more than 400 in the Philippines, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.



Tens of thousands were also displaced in southern Laos and flash floods were reported in northern Thailand.



Two powerful earthquakes rocked the Indonesian island of Sumatra, with the death toll likely to be in the thousands, and a tsunami battered American and Western Samoa, killing nearly 150.



In the Philippines, Arroyo ordered a one-year deferment in repayment of loans provided by state pension funds, part of liquidity-boosting measures to protect the economy following the massive typhoon devastation.



She said she would ask the central bank to set up a five-year special rediscounting window to help lenders refinance loans to small and medium-scale businesses, a proposal the central bank said it would study.



Cruz, the weather bureau's chief forecaster, told reporters that while Parma was a powerful typhoon, it would not bring as much rain as Ketsana.



"There will be rains but we will no longer experience the same amount of rainfall that Ketsana dumped last week."

Suggested Topics
Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

BI Manager - £50,000

£49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

£48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

VB.Net Developer

£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

£45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game