Manila: At least 16 people were killed in the Philippines after the world's strongest storm this year, Typhoon Goni slammed the Southeast Asian country Sunday.
Most of the reported fatalities were in Albay and Catanduanes provinces south of Manila, according to the region's disaster risk-monitoring agency. One person drowned in Laguna, a province closer to the capital, and at least three were missing in Albay, the agency said in a statement late Sunday.
The super typhoon's wind gusts peaked at 310 kilometers per hour (190 miles per hour) Sunday, the weather bureau said. That's equivalent to a category five hurricane. As of Monday, the storm's winds had weakened to 65km/h and it had been downgraded to a tropical storm.
Catanduanes, where the cyclone first made landfall, suffered a large number of damaged houses and was without power as electricity poles were toppled, according to the agency spokesman Gremil Alexis Naz. The province remains unreachable by disaster officials, according to CNN Philippines.
About 390,000 people had to evacuate and between 19 million and 31 million people could be affected by the storm. Thirty-three airports, including Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, were cleared to resume flights at 10am on Monday after they were shut for 24 hours. Philippine Airlines planned to restart its domestic and international flights.
Goni moved away from the main Luzon Island Sunday night and was swirling over the South China Sea, moving at 20km/h west northwestward. It will be out of the Philippines Tuesday morning, the weather bureau said in its latest advisory. Dozens of areas, including Metro Manila, remain in the lowest storm alerts in a five-level warning system.
A second storm, Atsani, may make landfall in the Philippines later this week, the weather bureau said. The storm was moving west northwestward at 30km/h and was 990 kilometers east of northern Luzon as of 10pm on Sunday, it said.