Super typhoon cuts power, unleashes landslides in northern Philippines
MANILA (Reuters) - The year's most powerful typhoon slammed into the Philippines' northernmost islands on Saturday, cutting communication and power lines, triggering landslides and inundating rice fields, officials said.
Packing winds of 185 kmh near the centre and gusts of up to 220 kmh, Typhoon Usagi weakened after hitting the Batanes island group, and is moving slowly west-north-west at 19 kmh towards southern China, the weather bureau said.
Usagi, which has been labelled a super typhoon, made landfall on Itbayat, the Philippine island closest to Taiwan, toppling communication and power lines, uprooting trees, causing landslides and flooding rice and garlic farms.
"It's rare that we suffer casualties as a result of typhoons," Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, a former congressman for Batanes, told Reuters, saying the province had not experienced a powerful typhoon in 25 years.