Super Typhoon Chanthu threatens Philippines as it heads to Taiwan

A fisherman securing a boat at a coastal village in Bacoor, in the Philippine province of Cavite, on Sept 8, 2021.
A fisherman securing a boat at a coastal village in Bacoor, in the Philippine province of Cavite, on Sept 8, 2021.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

MANILA (AFP, BLOOMBERG) - At least one person died and 17 were missing after a storm dumped heavy rain and caused flooding in the Philippines, authorities said on Thursday (Sept 9), as a powerful typhoon barrelled towards the country.

Tropical Storm Conson hit the central province of Eastern Samar as a typhoon on Monday before weakening as it passed over the archipelago, forcing around 10,000 people to flee their homes, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council.

One person drowned on the island province of Marinduque, said Mr Mark Timbal, spokesman for the disaster agency.

Another two deaths reported in Masbate province were yet to be confirmed by the authorities.

At least seventeen people, mostly fishermen, have been confirmed missing.

Floods were recorded in the provinces surrounding the national capital region along with communities in central regions, according to the disaster agency.

The heavy rain and flooding came as Super Typhoon Chanthu is threatening to flood northern provinces in the Philippines as it intensifies at sea before heading to Taiwan.

This year's second super typhoon will bring heavy to intense winds and torrential rains in areas north of Metro Manila, with floods and landslides possible, the Philippine weather bureau said on Thursday (Sept 9).

Chanthu was located about 415 nautical miles east of Manila on Thursday, packing winds of about 140 knots (259kmh) and gusts up to 170 knots, the United States Joint Typhoon Warning Centre said.

It will pass close to the main Philippine island of Luzon, home to about 53 million people.

An average of 20 typhoons pass through the Philippines each year. Several areas on the main Luzon island are still reeling from the impact of Typhoon Conson.

Chanthu is expected to hit Taiwan with its "worst impact" on Saturday, weather forecasting service Accuweather said.

By Friday night, its wind speed is forecast to reach the equivalent of a Category 4 hurricane as it nears the northernmost portion of the Philippines, it said.

The deadliest cyclone on record in the Philippines was Super Typhoon Haiyan, which left more than 7,300 people dead or missing in 2013.