Thousands flee homes as Typhoon Yutu batters Northern Philippines

A man collects recyclable materials along the breakwater amid strong waves as weather patterns from Typhoon Yutu affect Manila Bay on October 30, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 30 October 2018

Thousands flee homes as Typhoon Yutu batters Northern Philippines

MANILA: Thousands were forced to flee their homes, while a coastal town was left isolated as typhoon Yutu slammed the Northern Philippines yesterday (Tuesday, Oct. 30).
Packing maximum sustained winds of 150 kilometers per hour and 210 kph gusts, Yutu (local name Rosita) made landfall in the coastal town of Dinapigue, Isabela province at 4am.
As Arab News went to press, there had been only one death and one person missing in connection with the typhoon.
In Isabela province, officials said about 12,000 people are now seeking temporary shelter in evacuation centers, while around 3,000 evacuees were reported in Cagayan province.
More than 2,000 passengers were also stranded in different sea ports in the country, according to the coast guard.
Thirty flights were canceled, resulting in 1,937 stranded passengers.
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said an estimated 12 million people were living along the storm’s path.
Yutu crossed a similar path to that of super typhoon Mangkhut (local name Ompong), which hit the country in September, killing at least 80 people and causing almost P17 billion ($0.32 billion) of damage to agriculture.
In a radio interview, Dinapigue Mayor Reynaldo Derije said Yutu’s intense winds cut off electric and communication lines, while heavy rains caused flooding in low-lying villages.
Teodoro Sabiano, of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, said Yutu seemed to have caused more destruction than Mangkhut in their town.
Photos and videos shared on social media and TV footage showed toppled trees and branches, as well as electric posts sprawled across roads; debris, and ripped-off tin roof sheets in areas hit by the storm. Even a big warehouse was not spared from damage. Some structures made of light materials were completely destroyed.
Sabiano said it was good that they were able to prepare for the impact of the typhoon, specially in evacuating thousands of residents in coastal villages.
Dinapigue local officials appealed to the national government for food, water and clothes.
In Benguet province, where landslides caused by Mangkhut in September killed at least 80 people, local officials said pre-emptive evacuation was enforced ahead of the storm’s arrival.
Meanwhile, the Mines and Geosciences Bureau warned that Yutu will raise landslide susceptibility in Northern Luzon, particularly in the mountainous Cordillera provinces, noting that soil in the area is already saturated with water from Mangkhut in September.
The MGB pointed out that not all landslides occur during a downpour. Some happen afterwards, so residents are advised to take the necessary precautions.
The weather state bureau said on Tuesday that Yutu has weakened after crossing the rugged terrain of Northern Luzon and is now heading toward the West Philippine Sea.
Stormy weather is still expected over the areas under storm warning signals No. 3 and 2, and travel by land is risky over these areas.
There will still be moderate-to-heavy rains directly associated with the typhoon over Northern and Central Luzon, thus residents in these areas, especially those living near river channels, in low-lying areas and mountainous areas, are advised to take appropriate action against possible flooding and landslides, and to coordinate with the local disaster risk reduction and management offices.
Storm surge of up to three meters is possible over the coastal areas of Ilocos Sur, La Union and Pangasinan.
Fisherfolk and those with small seacraft are advised not to venture out over the seaboards of areas with storm signals and the eastern and western seaboards of Southern Luzon.
As of late Tuesday afternoon, Yutu was moving west-northwest at 25 kph with maximum sustained winds of 125 kph near the center and gustiness of up to 190 kph.
Yutu exits the Philippine area of responsibility by today Wednesday.


Number of people on German short-time work scheme has dropped to 3.7mn

Updated 1 min 33 sec ago

Number of people on German short-time work scheme has dropped to 3.7mn

  • Short-time work is a form of state aid that allows employers to switch employees to shorter working hours during an economic downturn
  • Its use is intended to stop immediate shocks such as the coronavirus crisis from turning into mass unemployment
BERLIN: The number of people on the German government’s short-time work scheme dropped to 3.7 million in September from 4.7 million in August, the Ifo institute said on Tuesday, in a sign that the economy is recovering somewhat.
Short-time work is a form of state aid that allows employers to switch employees to shorter working hours during an economic downturn to keep them on the payroll. Its use is intended to stop immediate shocks such as the coronavirus crisis from turning into mass unemployment.
Ifo said 21% of the workforce in the manufacturing sector remained on the program compared with 12% in the service sector. Only 1% of construction workers were working on the reduced hours scheme.
Ifo said the numbers were based on its own calculations and estimates.