MANILA (BLOOMBERG) - The Philippines reopened its main airport late on Tuesday (Dec 3) as Typhoon Kammuri heads to the South China Sea, leaving at least four people dead and displacing half a million more.
Ninoy Aquino International Airport's runways were opened at 6pm local time to allow airlines to bring back their aircraft to Manila, general manager Ed Monreal said in a statement. Regular flight operations were to resume at 11pm.
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte cancelled government work in Metro Manila, while schools were closed as Kammuri battered most of Luzon island on Tuesday. The foreign exchange and stock markets were open.
About half a million people were evacuated as the typhoon slammed into Luzon before midnight on Monday.
The authorities originally planned to close Manila's airport for 12 hours from 11am on Tuesday, prompting the cancellation of about 500 flights.
The storm locally known as Tisoy brought violent winds and intense rainfall over the southern portion of Luzon and weakened after passing through several provinces. It's packing maximum winds of 130kmh near the centre and gusts of up to 160kmh, the nation's weather bureau said in its 8pm report.
Frequent heavy rains will continue until Wednesday morning in the capital and nearby provinces.
The storm is forecast to leave Philippine waters and head to the South China Sea on Thursday.
Electricity was shut in 10 areas in Luzon as strong winds toppled power lines.
Ayala Land, Robinsons Land and SM Prime Holdings malls waived overnight parking fees to allow customers to wait out the storm.
Powerful winds ripped apart walls and shattered windows of the airport in Albay province, while uprooting trees in Samar province, ABS-CBN News reported.
Organisers of the 30th South-east Asian Games suspended canoe-kayak and windsurfing competitions. The Supreme Court shut all courts in Metro Manila, while an international conference organised by the Philippine central bank was cancelled.
Kammuri is the 20th storm this year to hit the Philippines, where about 20 cyclones pass through each year. In 2013, Super Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 6,300 people in the South-east Asian nation.