MANILA, Oct. 16 (UPI) — Typhoon Sarika killed two people and displaced more than 15,000 in the northern Philippines on Sunday as the nation braced for a super typhoon later in the week.
Typhoon Harika, named “Lawin” by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, was intensifying quickly in the western Pacific Ocean and was forecast to hit super typhoon status — with winds of 150 mph or higher — in northern Philippines, according to Weather.com. It is forecast to reach the eastern boundary of the Philippines Area of Responsibility on Monday and Taiwan later Wednesday or Thursday as a strong typhoon.
It was 1,000 miles east of Visaya with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph and was traveling 10 1/2 miles northwest, according to the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration.
At the same time, Sarika, known locally as Karen, hit land about 85 miles northeast of Manila near the town of Baler as a Category 4-type storm with 130 mph maximum winds, according to Weather.com. It is forecast to reach Vietnam and China early this week.
The storm, with sustained gusts of 80 mph, was moving northwestward at 15 mph and was 160 miles off the Philippine coast in the South China Sea, according to the Philippines’ weather agency.
“We have yet to receive the complete details, but I think the situation is manageable,” Ricardo Jalad, who heads the Office of Civil Defense, told Inquirer.net. “Roofs of some houses were ripped off, there were fallen trees. Those are the damages we received so far, so it’s is not that serious.”
In the eastern province of Catanduanes, one man drowned from strong river currents and a farmer died after his head struck the ground, provincial safety officer Gerry Beo said. Also three fishermen were reported missing.
The town of Virac, capital of the Philippine province of Catanduanes, had almost 22 inches of rain Friday through Saturday. And the nearby the town of Daet also picked up just over 21 inches of rain over three days. A month’s worth of rain normally is 15-1/2 inches.
Beo said most towns in the island province of about 260,000 people had no electricity and spotty communications.
About 200 domestic and international flights were canceled and thousands of ferry passengers stranded in seaports.
Karen was named after a singing bird in Cambodia.