Typhoon Nari leaves a million without power in Philippines

Typhoon Nari leaves a million without power in Philippines

MANILA - Typhoon Nari barrelled across the northern Philippines early Saturday, uprooting trees, bringing down pylons and leaving more than a million people without electricity, officials said.

No casualties were reported, but a man was missing after he went to sleep in a small fishing boat moored on the country's east coast where the cyclone made landfall during the night, disaster official Nigel Lontoc said. "The typhoon toppled a lot of trees, and many of these are now blocking major highways," Lontoc, assistant director for the civil defence office in the region, told AFP in a telephone interview.

"We have raw reports of many houses being unroofed by the strong winds," he said, adding that local officials were still collating the data. Nari sliced across the farming region at the centre of the main Philippine island of Luzon before dawn Saturday and later blew out to the South China Sea with peak winds of 120 kilometres (74.5 miles) an hour, the state weather service said.

The typhoon also toppled power pylons, blacking out the province of Aurora on the east coast and about half of Tarlac and Zambales provinces, Lontoc said. The areas now without electricity have a combined population of about 1.3 million, according to official population data.

About 3,000 people moved into government-run shelters before the typhoon struck amid warnings of flooding and landslides, Lontoc said. He said road and utility crews were now busy clearing blocked roads, but that it could take up to two days to restore power to Aurora, where the typhoon had made landfall.

The typhoon spared the capital Manila, where the state weather service had warned on Friday about possible widespread flooding. No major floods have been reported in the metropolis of more than 12 million people by early Saturday.

The Philippines is hit by about 20 major storms or typhoons each year that occur mainly between June and October.

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