MANILA - A powerful typhoon intensified Saturday
as it slammed the northeastern Philippines, ripping roofs off buildings and
downing power lines, officials said.
Authorities urged residents to brace for possible floods and landslides as
the second typhoon in as many weeks roared through rice-growing provinces of
northern Luzon island.
Forecasters said Typhoon Chebi
gained power overnight and had sustained winds of 120 mph.
Pedestrians cover their heads as they brave the rain in Bagu, north of
Manila, Philippines from Typhoon Chebi on
Chebi made landfall in northeastern Aurora province early Saturday morning.
It was forecast to move out into the South China Sea later in the day.
Nearly 30 northeastern provinces were placed under a storm alert because of
rains, winds and rough sea waters.
¡°The winds are powerful and the flood waters are high. People have been awake
since 3 a.m.,¡± Department of Environment officer James Martinez said in an
interview on Radio DZRH from Dilasag town in Aurora province.
He said local authorities were advising residents in low-lying areas to
evacuate to higher ground.
Radio reports said power lines were knocked down in the provinces and there
was damage to houses, but there were no casualties.
Many of the areas had suffered damage last week when Typhoon Cimaron slammed
the same region, leaving 15 people dead in flash flood and landslides. It came
on the heels of Typhoon Xangsane, which left 230 people dead and missing in and
around Manila in late September.
About 20 typhoons and tropical storms lash the country each year. Chebi,
which means swallow in Korean, is the 17th this season.