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Thousands flee deadly Typhoon Goni in Philippines

Published 22/08/2015

The Philippines is still recovering from the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan
The Philippines is still recovering from the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan

At least 10 people have died and 5,000 more have fled their homes after Typhoon Goni lashed the northern Philippines.

Pounding rain and winds set off landslides and flooded low-lying villages, officials said.

Workers (bottom R) use heavy equipment to try and clear debris and soil after a mountainside eroded due to heavy rains brought on by Typhoon Goni, along Kennon Road, a main road leading into the Philippine city of Baguio on August 22, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
Workers (bottom R) use heavy equipment to try and clear debris and soil after a mountainside eroded due to heavy rains brought on by Typhoon Goni, along Kennon Road, a main road leading into the Philippine city of Baguio on August 22, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
A worker looks at heavy equipment used to clear debris and soil after a mountainside eroded due to heavy rains brought about by Typhoon Goni, along Kennon Road, a main road leading into the Philippine city of Baguio on August 22, 2015. Seven people were killed while thousands fled to higher ground as powerful Typhoon Goni brought torrential rains to the northern Philippines, triggering landslides and floods, officials said on August 22. AFP PHOTO / JJ LANDINGINJJLandingin/AFP/Getty Images
A worker cuts up a fallen tree while heavy equipment (in background) works to clear debris and soil after a mountainside eroded due to heavy rains brought about by Typhoon Goni, along Kennon Road, a main road leading into the Philippine city of Baguio on August 22, 2015. Seven people were killed while thousands fled to higher ground as powerful Typhoon Goni brought torrential rains to the northern Philippines, triggering landslides and floods, officials said on August 22. AFP PHOTO / JJ LANDINGINJJLandingin/AFP/Getty Images
Two coast guards stand guard by the coast near the Wushih harbor in Yilan as typhoon Goni approaches in eastern Taiwan on August 22, 2015 AFP/Getty Images
Two coast guards stand guard by the coast near the Wushih harbor in Yilan as typhoon Goni approaches in eastern Taiwan on August 22, 2015 AFP/Getty Images
This picture shows waves near the Wushih harbor in Yilan as typhoon Goni approaches in eastern Taiwan on August 22, 2015. Two people were killed while thousands were evacuated as powerful typhoon Goni approached the Philippines and Taiwan, authorities said. AFP PHOTO / Sam YehSAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images
A boy play (L) amongst grounded fishing outrigger boats along the coastal areas of Manila Bay on August 22, 2015, after the Philippine coast guard banned sailing due to Typhoon Goni as it passes the northern Philippines. Seven people were killed while thousands fled to higher ground as powerful Typhoon Goni brought torrential rains to the northern Philippines, triggering landslides and floods, officials said on August 22. AFP PHOTO / Jay DIRECTOJAY DIRECTO/AFP/Getty Images
Coast guards and a police officer stand guard on a beach near the Wushih harbor in Yilan as typhoon Goni approaches in eastern Taiwan on August 22, 2015. Two people were killed while thousands were evacuated as powerful typhoon Goni approached the Philippines and Taiwan, authorities said. AFP PHOTO / Sam YehSAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images
A general view shows the Wushih harbor in Yilan as typhoon Goni approaches in eastern Taiwan on August 22, 2015. Two people were killed while thousands were evacuated as powerful typhoon Goni approached the Philippines and Taiwan, authorities said. AFP PHOTO / Sam YehSAM YEH/AFP/Getty Images

The typhoon's ferocious power has weakened, but it still packed dangerously strong sustained winds of 90mph and gusts of up to 115 mph as it arrived off Batanes province on the northern tip of the archipelago, the government's weather agency said.

The typhoon also picked up speed and is forecast to start blowing away from the country on Sunday, passing to the east of Taiwan before heading toward Okinawa, Japan.

As it approached the north without making landfall, Goni dumped heavy rains for three days then battered already-sodden mountainous villages with its wind, making them vulnerable to landslides and mudslides, officials said.

In Benguet province, landslides killed at least eight people, including two brothers who were buried alive in a temporary shelter where they took cover in Bakun town, provincial officials said.

Another villager died in a landslide in Mountain Province, while a man was pinned to death by a fallen tree in Ilocos Norte province, according to the Office of Civil Defence.

Benguet governor Nestor Fongwan said that a landslide buried about seven shanties used by gold miners in one far-flung mountain village in his province's Mankayan town and that at least one body has been pulled out by rescuers from the muddy heap.

Up to 17 small-scale gold miners may have been in those shanties, but it was not clear whether they left the village amid the stormy weather, he said.

Two men were swept by rampaging rivers in the northern provinces of La Union and Ilocos Norte and remained missing, officials said.

More than 5,400 villagers were moved to storm shelters in six northern provinces.

Several flights and ferry trips have been canceled and authorities scrapped classes in several towns in metropolitan Manila and nearby provinces due to flooding and danger from the howling wind.

Goni - Korean for "swan" - is the ninth of about 20 storms and typhoons that are expected to batter the Philippines this year.

Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most ferocious storms on record to hit land, devastated large areas of the central Philippines in November 2013, leaving more than 7,300 people dead or missing.

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