Tropical storm shuts Manila schools, floods northern Philippine towns

Tropical storm shuts Manila schools, floods northern Philippine towns
This May 8, 2015 NASA image shows Typhoon Noul captured by a camera aboard the International Space Station (ISS) taken by the Expedition 43 crew led by Commander Terry Virts, NASA astronaut. Noul originated in the tropical Western Pacific, brushing the island of Yap before strengthening rapidly and clipping the northern Philippines as a super typhoon, winding up on the Pacific coast of Japan reduced to a tropical storm.

MANILA - All shipping was ordered to remain in harbour and some flights were cancelled in the northern Philippines, while schools were closed in the capital, Manila, on Monday due to flooding and landslides from a tropical storm, disaster officials said.

Storm warnings were issued in at least 14 areas of the main Philippine island of Luzon as tropical storm Linfa moved slowly across the north of the Southeast Asian archipelago. It was carrying maximum wind gusts of 100 km per hour (60 mph).

Alexander Pama, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, said the storm would bring heavy rain within a 400-km (250 miles) radius. The storm was named Egay in the Philippines.

"We are grounding all sea travel and fishing operations in the north because we expect sea waves to go as high as 4 metres (13 feet), Pama said.

"We don't want any lose of life or any accidents," he said.

Army units had been placed on standby to evacuate people to temporary shelters if needed, Pama said.

The government was expecting some crop damage in rice-producing areas in northern Luzon. Linfa made landfall in the north of the island on Saturday and was about 135 km (85 miles) southwest of Laoag City in Luzon's far north on Monday.

An average of 20 typhoons pass through the Philippines every year. Haiyan, the strongest typhoon ever to make landfall in the Philippines, killed more than 6,300 people and left 1,000 missing in 2013.

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