Typhoon Goni threatens Japan after killing 26 in Philippines

MANILA - Typhoon Goni killed at least 26 people in landslides and floods in the Philippines, officials said Monday, as the storm bore down on Japan.

Rescue teams clawed away at a mountainside near the remote mining town of Mankayan in the country's north, after recovering the bodies of 13 miners buried by a landslide that struck the area two days earlier.

"The landslide buried miners sheltering in huts used as a rest area. The slope collapsed after being saturated with rain," Ivy Carasi, a spokeswoman for the civil defence office in the region, told AFP.

Officials did not elaborate on how many miners were still missing in the landslide's wake.

"We don't really know how many more miners are missing because the numbers compiled by the police and local government do not tally," said Carasi.

Goni hit parts of the northern Philippines hard over the weekend, destroying nearly a thousand houses and forcing more than 12,000 people to flee, the civil defence office said.

More than a dozen other people in the mountainous region were killed by landslides, surging waters and a falling tree, the civil defence office in Manila added.

Apart from the unspecified number of missing Mankayan miners, four people were still unaccounted for elsewhere in the country, including a five-year-old girl.

The child disappeared after a river overflowed and swept away her home near the coastal town of Subic late Sunday, killing her two siblings aged two and nine months, Vic Otero, a local civil defence official, told AFP.

"The family had been advised to evacuate as early as last week. Apparently they did not heed the warning," Otero said, adding their parents survived.

Goni is the ninth out of an average of 20 storms that hit the Philippines each year.

Packing gusts up to 252 kilometres per hour, Goni Monday was moving just north of the main island in Japan's Okinawa island chain.

Five people sustained minor injuries as it brushed over Japan's Ishigakijima island, according to the country's Fire and Disaster Management Agency.

The storm was on course directly to hit Kyushu island Tuesday, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

It caused power outages to 21,400 households in the southern region Monday morning, Okinawa Electric Power reported.

Thousands in Taiwan were evacuated from outlying islands and mountainous areas as a precaution, including 1,500 from the hot spring region of Wulai just outside Taipei.

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