MANILA • Nine people were killed while thousands fled to higher ground as Typhoon Goni brought torrential rains to the northern Philippines, triggering landslides and floods, officials said yesterday.
The storm is the ninth out of an average of 20 that hit the Philippines each year and is now heading to Taiwan, the weather bureau said.
Taiwan has evacuated people from outlying islands and troops are on standby for disaster relief.
While the chance of Goni making landfall in Taiwan has diminished, the typhoon will bring heavy rain to most of the island over the weekend, with mountainous areas expected to see torrential downpours. Areas at risk include the hot spring town of Wulai that was devastated by Typhoon Soudelor two weeks ago.
At least 1,700 tourists have been evacuated from Taiwan's outlying Green and Orchid islands, and offices and schools have been closed there since Friday. Some ferry services and domestic flights have been cancelled, but international flights have yet to be affected.
China's National Meteorological Centre has forecast Goni will not make landfall in the country.
Typhoon Soudelor killed at least 21 people in China after making landfall in Fujian earlier this month. In Japan, airlines announced possible flight delays and cancellations as Goni and another strong typhoon, Atsani, neared.
Atsani was expected to approach the Ogasawara island chain yesterday. Goni was forecast to approach the Sakishima island chain today, according to the Japanese meteorological agency.
AGENCE FRANCE- PRESSE