Philippines issues storm warnings ahead of destructive typhoon Yutu

A general view shows a damaged roof of the heritage house, in the aftermath of Typhoon Mangkhut, in the Spanish colonial town of Vigan in Ilocos Sur province, in the north-western part of Luzon on September 19, 2018.
PHOTO: AFP

MANILA - The Philippines raised tropical cyclone warnings levels for nine provinces and put a mountainous region on high alert for possible landslides on Monday ahead of a typhoon that threatened storm surges and floods triggered by heavy winds and rain.

Typhoon Yutu, which caused havoc last week with a direct hit on the US Northern Mariana islands, was set to make landfall on Tuesday morning and move across the main island of Luzon before exiting the Philippines 24 hours later, the state weather agency PAGASA said.

Yutu was a category 3 storm on Monday, with sustained winds reaching 170 km per hour (106 mph) and gusts of up to 210 kph.

That was less intense than four days ago, when as a super typhoon it barrelled through the Marianas, a US Western Pacific archipelago of 52,000 people, tearing off roofs, overturning vehicles and cutting off power and water.

Nine provinces in north Luzon were elevated to warning signal 2 on the severity scale of 5, and 20 more were put on the earliest warning of 1, with strong winds and rains expected later on Monday. The mountainous Cordillera region was put on red alert for landslides.

Known locally as Rosita, the typhoon will be the 18th to hit the Philippines this year and comes six weeks after super typhoon Mangkhut tore across Luzon, triggering landslides that killed dozens of people and damaged about $180 million of crops.

Typhoon Mangkhut leaves trail of destruction in HK, China and Philippines

  • Hong Kong began a massive clean-up Monday after Typhoon Mangkhut raked the city, shredding trees and bringing damaging floods, in a trail of destruction that has left dozens dead in the Philippines and millions evacuated in southern China.
  • A taxi is left abandoned after breaking down in floodwaters during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018.
  • A road is blocked by a fallen tree during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018.
  • Trees felled by Typhoon Mangkhut litter a road in Hong Kong, China in this still image from a September 16, 2018 video from social media.
  • A car breaks down in a flooded tunnel during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018
  • Damage caused by Typhoon Mangkhut is seen in Hong Kong, China in this still image from a September 16, 2018 video from social media.
  • Waves caused by Typhoon Mangkhut is seen in Hong Kong, China in this still image from a September 16, 2018 video from social media.
  • Damage caused by Typhoon Mangkhut is seen in Hong Kong, China in this still image from a September 16, 2018 video from social media.
  • Broken glass is seen in a restaurant as Typhoon Mangkhut makes landfall in China's Guangdong province, in Shenzhen, on Sept 16, 2018.
  • Damaged windows of the One Harbourfront office tower are seen following Typhoon Mangkhut, in Hong Kong, China September 16, 2018.
  • A taxi is abandoned in floodwaters during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018.
  • Waves spilling over a sea barrier as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches Hong Kong on Sept 16, 2018.
  • In videos posted to Twitter, heavy rains and winds can be seen whipping pavements and buildings.
  • Cars are stranded in seawater as high waves hit the shore at Heng Fa Chuen, a residental district near the waterfront, during Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on Sept 16, 2018.
  • A car tries to navigate in the floodwaters in Heng Fa Chuen, a residential district near the waterfront in Hong Kong, during Typhoon Mangkhut on Sept 16, 2018.
  • Foam washed ashore by high waves is seen in Heng Fa Chuen, a residential district near the waterfront in Hong Kong, during Typhoon Mangkhut on Sept 16, 2018.
  • Waves crashes on the beach during Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China September 16, 2018 in this still image obtained from a social media video.
  • A damage is seen on a scaffolding during Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China September 16, 2018 in this still image obtained from a social media video.
  • A flooded area is seen after typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China in this still image taken from video on September 16, 2018.
  • Residents wade though flood water as high waves hit the shore at Heng Fa Chuen, a residential district near the waterfront, following Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong, China September 16, 2018.
  • Large waves hit Repulse Bay beach as Typhoon Mangkhut slams into Hong Kong on Sept 16, 2018.
  • People walk through a flooded shopping mall in Heng Fa Chuen, a residential district near the waterfront in Hong Kong, during Typhoon Mangkhut on Sept 16, 2018.
  • A woman runs in the rainstorm as Typhoon Mangkhut approaches in Shenzhen, China, on Sept 16, 2018.
  • A photojournalist walks amongst plastic debris blown by strong winds in Heng Fa Chuen during Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on Sept 16, 2018.
  • Broken glass is seen in a restaurant as Typhoon Mangkhut makes landfall in China's Guangdong province, in Shenzhen, on Sept 16, 2018.
  • A fire rescue worker helps a child cross a flooded street in the village of Lei Yu Mun during Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on Sept 16, 2018.
  • Fire rescue members help a woman to cross a flooded street in the village of Lei Yu Mun during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Hong Kong on September 16, 2018.
  • A general view shows a street flooded from a storm surge during Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Macau on September 16, 2018.
  • Bamboo scaffolding is brought down during Typhoon Mangkhut in Macau on Sept 16, 2018.
  • A women (C) steps through rubbish and debris left by Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Macau on September 16, 2018.
  • People battle strong winds as they cross a street ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018.
  • A man carrying an umbrella runs under heavy rain and strong winds ahead of the arrival of Super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang in China's Guangdong province on September 16, 2018.
  • This photo by Taiwan agency CNA Photo taken and released on September 15, 2018 shows residents standing amongst debris at Shang Wu fishing port in Taitung county, eastern Taiwan, as Super Typhoon Mangkhut approached waters near southern Taiwan.
  • Aerial shot of houses destroyed at the height of Typhoon Mangkhut in Gattaran, in Cagayan province, on September 16, 2018.
  • Children use a basin to cross a flooded street in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Mangkhut at Salonga Compound in Calumpit, Bulacan on September 16, 2018.
  • Rescuers retrieve one of the bodies trapped in a mudslide as a relative cries in Baguio City, north of Manila on September 16, 2018.
  • A man walks past aN uprooted tree a day after super Typhoon Mangkhut in Yangjiang, in Guangdong province on September 17, 2018.

Classes were suspended in at least five provinces and fishermen in Luzon and the eastern seaboard advised not to go to sea. All boat services in the port city of Batangas, about 83 km (52 miles) south of Manila, were suspended on Monday.

About half of the Philippines' 105 million population live in the Luzon region. The country is hit by an average 20 typhoons each year.