Kills four, displaces hundreds, batters Philippines

Army units with heavy equipment were deployed to clear roads of loosened soil and debris to speed up delivery of relief goods to displaced families in temporary shelter areas.

Typhoon Goni batters Philippines, kills four, displaces hundreds

Four people died and hundreds fled their homes on Friday when a category three typhoon bore down on the northern Philippines, disaster officials said.

Packing winds of 170 kph (105 mph) and gusts of up to 205 kph, Typhoon Goni was estimated to be 100 km (62 miles) east of Cagayan province in the northern Philippine and was moving slowly at 7 kph west-northwest towards southern Japan.

Civil defence and regional police officials said four people died, one by drowning and three buried by landslides. Three others were injured and another was unaccounted for.

"We evacuated more than 400 people in Cagayan and Batanes provinces, which bore the brunt of the typhoon," Norma Talosig, civil defence regional director, told reporters. "They were moved to higher and safer ground because of rising floodwaters and possible storm surge."

More than 300 people were also evacuated in the mountainous Cordillera region, which was threatened by landslides.

Goni brought heavy to intense rain, causing landslides and floodings in coastal and low-lying areas in the north, said Alexander Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

He said power was cut in wide areas in northern Luzon, sea and air travel were suspended and fishing boats were prevented from going to the sea.

An average of 20 typhoons pass through the Philippines every year. The most destructive and deadly hit the central Philippines in November 2013, killing more than 6,300 people and displaced more than 200,000.

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