MANILA • Floods inundated towns in the northern Philippines as Tropical Storm Linfa struck the northern edge of the archipelago, where relief agencies had braced themselves for disaster.
The region's civil defence chief, Mr Chito Castro, said yesterday that at least 11 coastal towns had been affected by floodwaters and swelling rivers as the storm passed over the area.
"The rain is strong, the wind is strong. Major roads are impassable. Some houses are half-covered (with water), some are completely covered," he told reporters.
He said there were still no reports of casualties from the storm, but this could be because the focus was on relief efforts.
Power has also been knocked out in large areas of the north, hampering communications.
The storm, packing maximum winds of 120kmh, is moving north-west at 9kmh and was expected to curve northwards, moving off Luzon by yesterday evening.
National civil defence chief Alexander Pama said that his team had "pre-positioned the items necessary" in case the storm prompts any massive evacuations.
The disaster-plagued Philippines is hit by about 20 typhoons and storms each year, and many of them are deadly.
Among the worst in recent memory was Super Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the central Philippines in November 2013 and left more than 7,350 people dead or missing.