Vietnam next after typhoon leaves two dead in the Philippines

Typhoon Sarika slammed into the north-eastern Philippines on Sunday, leaving at least two dead and forcing more than 12,000 to flee their homes, officials said.

Sarika, known locally as Typhoon Karen, made landfall over the coastal town of Baler in the northern province of Aurora, ripping off roofs and toppling trees and electric posts.

The typhoon was packing maximum sustained winds of 120 kilometres per hour (km/h) and gusts of up to 200 km/h as it crossed the Philippines' main region of Luzon at a speed of 24 km/h, the weather bureau said.

At least two people were reported dead in accidents caused by the storm, including a man who died after falling and hitting his head on the ground in strong winds in the eastern province of Catanduanes.

Another man drowned when he was swept away by strong currents in the same province, police said.

Sarika forced 12,496 residents living mostly in flood and landslide-prone areas to flee their homes, according to the national disaster risk management agency.

Nearly 300 domestic and international flights were cancelled, while 6,563 passengers were stranded in 22 seaports after passenger and cargo vessels were banned from sailing.

Power was cut off in many affected areas, while water supplies were disrupted in at least one province. Some roads were also closed due to landslides and flooding, disaster relief officials said.

In the northern province of Bataan, 86 mountaineers got stranded on Mount Tarak in the town of Mariveles as heavy rain pounded the area, said Superintendent Crizalde Condo, the town police chief.

Rescuers were dispatched to escort the hikers down, and 56 of them have already safely descended the mountain while the others were still on their way, he added.

The storm is expected to leave the Philippines on Monday, the weather bureau said.

Authorities in Vietnam expect Sarika to hit the coastal country's central provinces of Quang Binh and Thua Thien-Hue, where flooding has already occurred.

Hanoi has ordered all local governing People's Committees to prepare for evacuations in the coming days.

Torrential downpours have already killed 21 people since Thursday in Vietnam.

Last update: Sun, 16/10/2016 - 14:55

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